Animals are so very much smarter than a lot of people give the credit for. Guess that's why I worry about those that are abused and neglected.
As long as I have been around chickens I have never known a rooster to literally take a baby chick under it's wing like a mother hen. Popeye had done just that.
All day I have worried about and constantly checked on little Sweet Pea, and every time I looked in on them, Popeye was hovering over Sweet Pea, scratching for food and calling him.
Night time has been my biggest worry. Popeye sleeps on a roosts about five feet off the ground in the bantam's lot. Sweet Pea had been sleeping under Olive's wing in a nest box low to the ground. Where would Sweet Pea sleep tonight?
Right at the edge of dark Poppy and I went out to close the chicken house door and check on everything. There was Popeye waiting in that raggedy old box that is nailed high up on the wall inside the lot. The same old box where Sweet Pea was hatched. I guess he figured he and Sweet Pea would be safe there, but Sweet Pea could not get up that high. I lifted Sweet Pea up and he snuggled right up under Popeye's wing. I'm telling you, I've been on the verge of tears all day over this baby.
We are now wondering if it could have been a rat that killed Olive during the night. A snake for sure would have eaten the baby chick. Maybe we will know tomorrow. Poppy set a rat trap inside the chicken lot after the chickens were all safely in their house for the night.
Okay, thanks again for listening.