Tonight, after struggling to get the dishwasher to work again and mopping up the ensuing flood, I made my way to the plot to check on the new additions to the family.
First thing I noticed was that a chick (Marans chicks are a lovely black, white and yellow colour) had been thrown out by Claudia and was lying seemingly dead near the door not moving. It was most likely knackered by the exhausting exit from its egg and as it was the last of the clutch, Claudia probably decided she had enough chicks to look after without this one.
I picked it up. It wasn't moving or breathing and was very cold. No signs of life, it hung limply, tiny in my hand.
Sadly, I went to get my spade and pick a plot where it wouldn't be disturbed to bury it and lay the chick on the soil next to the deep hole I'd dug for it.
I don't know why but something made me pick the chick up again. I gave it a stroke or two and cupped it's little body in my hands and f**k me it moved its head. Just a tiny bit but enough to get me scrambling to the jeep parked next to the plot.
The next twenty minutes was spent in the jeep stroking the chick back to life, breathing warmth onto it and then with the engine running and the heater going, gently blowing warm air onto this tiny bird. As it's downy feathers dried it let out a few squeaks and wriggled about.
I was going to bring it home and get the desk lamp onto it but G. over from me on the allotments turned up just as I was packing to leave. He'd just had some chicks hatch this pm and that he could put it in the heated incubator thingy he's got and keep an eye on it. It looks promising that this little chap will be ok.
Good day today...