I woke several times during the night, thinking about the chicks suffocating under Ruby, or Ruby suddenly applying logic to the fact that the eggs she was sitting on for a few days weren’t fertile so couldn’t hatch, let alone hatch after a week and therefore those were not her chicks. Unable to sleep any more, I got up around 5am to check what was happening.
Thankfully everything was fine and nature had ensured that Ruby probably had a sleepless night also, with the chicks moving around under, her and Ruby spent most of the morning snoozing. Given our haste to decide to get the chicks we didn’t have a drinker or feeder for them. We found an old coffee jar lid for a drinker and the lid of a margarine tub made a makeshift feeder to put the chick crumb on, and mother and daughters were happy with the setup. Ruby took delight in showing the chicks where the food was and became very excited when more was added to the pile!
Given this was their second day of life, the chicks needed Ruby for heat, and spent most of the day underneath her, only coming out for short periods of time for a snack or drink. The main positives about today for us were the fact that Ruby had fully accepted the chicks and they’d accepted her as their mother, and that the chicks were eating and drinking – hopefully I can sleep easier tonight!