This little girl is Lillian Hellman, named after ... well, Lillian Hellman. This is her about 8 weeks ago when I took home three chicks that I just could not resist. They are now quite big, but still don't compare in size to my nearly full grown hens.
I recently let them start spending their days outside and eventually nights (when it was warm enough). They gradually started sharing food and water with the hens, and seemed to be getting along really well. I was very cautious of the "pecking order" but the chicks seemed to keep out of the hens way, and the hens seemed to ignore the chicks for the most part. Last night when I went to lock the chickens up and put the chicks in their brooder I saw that the chicks had gotten cozy in the coop so I decided that they must be ready to spend the night with the big girls.
This morning I went to let the hens and chicks out and my sweet Lillian had been nearly pecked to death, I initially thought she was gone. If any of you have ever seen something like this, you know how gruesome it is. Brett went out and told me she was still moving, we decided that we would have to put her to rest. Brett packed her up in a shoe box and took her out to the farm.
Elaine, Brett's mom, grew up raising chickens and had a look at Lillian, to our surprise she said we could probably keep her alive! I am so thankful that she will likely recover.
I wanted to write this post, A. because I'm traumatized, and B. because I had searched for information on mixing chicks with hens and when it's safe, etc. I couldn't find any clear information on it, but it seems that you can't be too careful. As long as the chicks have a place where they can get away and be protected from the hens, then they should be okay to be intermixed. But I certainly learned my lesson not to let them sleep in the same coop, the hard way.
Winnie and Zelda Fitzgerald, the other two chicks, are fine. Here are their baby pics:
Sorry for the sad story this morning ... but hopefully it will have a happy ending :)