Hello friends and family
We have enjoyed some warm weather – on Monday I got into shorts!
We have begun daily rounds – on Tuesday we found Diphtheria in chicks from both colonies, so treatment has begun. At one nest, both parents were home which is never a good sign – sure enough – sick chicks. We are so fortunate to be able to treat this disease. Many of life’s risks to such tiny scraps of life cannot be managed and so we have to accept this and just do our best.
We were joined by Janelle, an American doing post-doctoral research in disease identification and we took swabs from the chicks we weighed to keep disturbance to a minimum. After doing 3 nests down here, we did 3 more at the Moeraki colony. The system that we have developed worked well and our time at each nest was less than a minute. Basically, when we check for oral lesions, we swab, so the only addition to the routine is cloacal swabs which is very quick.
Thursday was not a good day. We found 2 dead chicks. One had only just hatched and the other was a week old. There were a lot of pairs at home which is never a good sign. Sure enough, we found more sick chicks and their treatment was begun. By the end of the round we had 45 chicks.
Friday was better, no dead chicks and our number was up to 50. Yesterday was wet, but no dead chicks! We now have 53 and are 2/3 of the way through hatching
Have a great week!