I used a couple feed bags to tarp the top of the big outside rabbit cage and moved four of the five colony kits to the big cage. Petal (the broken chocolate doe) will be staying in the colony in hopes that she will get along with everyone and replace her momma (Lady Mo) as a future breeder. The four bunnies in the cage now include one that's going to one of the kids' friends, two that are spoken for (pending pick up next week), and one is still available. They just need to finish of their 21 day treatment with Corid to make sure they don't have coccidia.
I cleaned out the hatching incubator and refilled it with the eggs for this week's hatch. Only five this time. Three had stopped sometime during development and one was infertile, so small hatch this week, but hopefully still some babies.
I put the tiny duckling and the one chick out into the barn brooder. As of bedtime check they were both alive and well.
Today the eleven "teenager" chicks wandered outside. They spent the day nibbling grass and exploring the yard. Tonight when I went out to close up the barn after dark I found two of them asleep in the middle of the yard. They must have just gotten tired and decided to lay down and sleep where they were. I brought them into the barn and did a head count. Ten. Only ten. I searched the barn, and then called Tony and the kids out to help search. We went out with flashlights and checked the entire yard, but found no feathers, no body, and no lost chicken. I locked the barn up and I hope maybe the lost chick just fell asleep somewhere and will come around tomorrow. The two in the yard were sound asleep and didn't wake up until I set them down in the barn. I doubt we'd find the missing one is it was asleep nearby and just out of sight. Anyway, fingers crossed that it comes back safely tomorrow. Fingers crossed!
I got an email this morning from one of the hatcheries that's having a sale. Cornish cross chicks, $1 each with free shipping. I've been wanting to try my hand at raising meat birds for a while, but the cost is prohibitive. While $1 each with free shipping sounds like a steal, but each chick will eat 10-20 pounds of feed to reach butcher size, and I'd have to build some kind of pasture tractor for two dozen fast growing eating and pooping poultry babies. Plus we have to pay someone to process the birds at the end because I'm not ready to kill and process that many by hand. We have no scalder, no plucker, and no experience but the one botched silkie back in 2017. All together, it could be a rather expensive endeavor. I mean, we could use the enclosure again, but the feed and butcher costs add up too. Is it worth it for two dozen birds in the freezer? I will have to discuss more with Tony. He's looked up and printed off building plans for a portable pasture tractor. We will have to price check lumber and supplies while we're in town tomorrow.