This evening, I checked on Trixy’s remaining eggs. One had a big pip in it but nothing seemed to be happening and Trixy is spending more and more time off the remaining eggs. Choosing to help the chick, I took it out of the broody coop. Slowly, I gently removed fragments of shell, trying to avoid tearing the umbilical cord. Gradually, I eased the chick out. It was pretty lifeless and felt cold. Quickly, I dashed to the cage and tried to get the chick under Trixy. Under a broody, the chick would dry off and be kept warm. Unfortunately, Trixy showed almost no interest and practically crushed it by stepping on it when trying to chivvy the others. Clearly this wasn’t going to work.
Running upstairs, I hollered to my husband to get out a hot water bottle and get the kettle on. Cradling the chick in one hand, I ran around the house to find an old towel to make a temporary nest. Settling the chick into the nest, we ate dinner hoping it would dry off quickly. Over the next hour, the chick started to move more and make increasingly loud cheeps. By the time it tried to climb out of the towel, we decided to try the chick back with Trixy. Getting it back under her was not without danger. As angry as Trixy has been when sitting on eggs, it is nothing compared to how aggressive she is when defending her chicks! In one swift motion, I lifted her wing and deposited the chick.
Half an hour later I went back to check on what was happening. Trixy was sitting just outside the nest box. No chicks were visible which means all five were underneath. Hopefully the littlest one will make it! Over the next few hours, we will do regular checks and be ready to help if needed.