We managed to get 302 bales of hay in our loft, that is a start. After the hay work was done and after the milking was done yesterday evening, I went out to the goat/chicken shed to look for eggs. I heard the loud chirping of a chick. Normally I would have thought that it was my one remaining barred rock chick under the shed but I had seen the barred rock chick out in the grass right before I came in the building.
The realization hit me and a ton of guilt fell on me. The other barred rock chick who had disappeared last Wednesday morning was in the hay barrel. We have a plastic barrel with a hole cut into it that we feed hay to the goats in during the winter months. Somehow that chick had gotten into the barrel and probably the goats had pushed the barrel opening against the wall.
I turned the barrel around and let light into it for the first time in 7 days. The chick was running around and was hard to catch. I could not believe that it was still alive after all of that time with no water, food or light. Now I will have to keep that chick even if it is a rooster! I carried it to it's sister out in the grass and set it down. It started pecking at the grass immediately, it wandered all around the lot searching for food.
The two young men who were here to help us put up hay, herded it toward water and it found Angel's dog food and gobbled some of it up. Then it found the milk that I had put out for Angel and drank for a long time. Finally it found the water and I thought it would never stop drinking. It continued to hunt and peck until after dark, all of the other chickens had gone to roost, we finally had to catch it with a fish net and put it up on the roost next to it's sister.
Now that I think back, I can remember hearing it's cries several times but I always assumed that it was the other chick under the shed because she stays under there most of the time when it is hot. I feel really bad about not checking there when I realized that it was missing. It was in there during some very hot and humid weather.