Two of the cornish cross chicks were placed under a trio of hens raising their own chicks. This group included a banty cross hen, a white jersey giant, and a spanish black turkey hen. They accepted the cornish cross chicks (and a couple of maran and buff orpingtons I also slid under there) very nicely and treated them as their own. I guess with so many different types of chicks they had no idea which were their own and just decided to raise whatever peeped at them. They were a nice family for a while and the Cornish Cross were keeping up just fine – and were slimmer than my bunch in the brooder box which I think is much healthier. Then one one of the CC started having leg trouble – I could not tell whether it was a genetic thing or she was stepped on by a horse so she had to return to the house.
Shortly thereafter the chick in the barn got a name – Carin. She is doing great – keeping up with the other chicks, eating all sorts of things including chick food, grass, bugs, worms, etc. She stays slim and fit. Although she is not quite slim enough to fly! The chick in the house got a name too – one reflective of all the extra food she started eating due to lack of activity – Mongo. I take Mongo out everyday into a small chick run that has grass and sunshine. She and the other chicks (the other Cornish Cross, some leghorns, and some turkey poults) have a great time scratching and taking mini-dust baths. It has always amazed me that even without the example set by a mother, little chicks immediately take a dust bath when presented with dirt or grass. Of all the CC chicks in this pen Mongo is the most active – I think because she had some experience being free range. She is the biggest of the CC chicks but the most healthy and robust. Two of the others are moderately active but the third just scoots her blob like body around on the ground and eats and poops. She does not seemed phased by it but I feel so sad for her. She can’t run or fly or act like a chick. I hope she does not miss it.