Extra post for the day because a lot happened in the last 24 hours, and I figured I'd make a quick update. Last night the Lady of the House heard peeping from inside some of the eggs under our Australorp. I heard it this morning, and when I checked in a few of the eggs this morning they have outward facing cracking on them. You can see one of them bottom right of the picture Above. I'm not sure how many will hatch, and how many of them that hatch will survive, but we shall see. We already had one egg that didn't make it, and the photo of that and some less good news will be below the cut. The one that didn't make it will be at the bottom of the post so you know where it is, and can read the rest first.
As you can see Left we are down to 5 chickens, 4 hens and Mr. Bond. We lost the non broody Australorp and the Rhode Island Red. We are sorry to see both of them go of course, but we weren't entirely unprepared for it. The Rhode Island Red exhibited dangerous behaviors for a chicken. She didn't stick with the flock, and definitely drew them into going much further from the yard than any of the other hens.
That said, where she got hit was surprising to us. She got taken at the base of the steps up to the house. The Australorp got taken half way down the driveway near a big tree, and it looks like she was taken in the woods. When the Lady of the House noticed that something was off, and there were missing chickens she saw just the three Cinnamon Queens, and didn't see Mr. Bond at first. He came out of the woods a couple minutes later, and was making noises that made her think he was hurt at first. He was making calls like a pigeon. If you've ever had a parakeet that's lost a long time bonded mate, it's the same noise. We call it crying, not trying to anthropomorphise, but it is a call that comes after another bird dies as far as we can tell. Other than pigeons of course. Either way, we can guess he witnessed at least one of the hits and likely given his behavior scattered the rest of the hens which is likely why only one other chicken was taken. I'm wondering if that's why the Australorp was taken in the woods because she'd scattered there after the first hit. We're going to be trying to be careful about when we let them out to roam, but we are very aware that the run isn't fox secure, so we'll see how much it matters. I'm concerned most about protecting the chicks when they're in the snack sized phase, so we may be closing them in more than letting them roam soon.
As I'd mentioned at the top of the post one of the chicks didn't make it out of the egg. My guess is that the shell got crushed when it wasn't ready to come out because this is how I found it, Notice that the broken area isn't focused around the head of the chick. If the cracking was around the head of the chick that would have been from the egg tooth cracking the egg to come out. Since in this case we don't see the head and the cracking is around the back, that's why I'm thinking that it wasn't a failure to escape but an early break. Either way, it's unfortunate to see it so close to coming out alive and not make it at this point.
So, as you can see lots is happening. I won't be doing daily updates as the chicks arrive, but we will be trying to get pictures as soon as we see chicks coming out of the eggs and their first everything. We're fairly excited about the chicks if you couldn't tell!