Victoria Briggs: Baby Chicks and Oil Slicks



Here is all about 80 of them – warming up and showing  more
signs of life:-)

May 15, 2009

Here’s another incite into life in the bush from Victoria who spent a busy Saturday night doing CPR on 80 two-day-old chicks.

Between something delaying my chicks from getting in the mail until after our mail plane already left yesterday, bad weather this morning – snowing and fog, and then the normal airline red tape, my poor baby chicks got here about a day late.

I had 19 DOA and one more expired a bit later. I THINK I brought about 10 back from near death, won’t know for sure until tomorrow or next day.

Dipping beaks in sugar syrup water, making sure they do not pig pile trying to warm up, nudging them, dipping beaks still more and generally hovering for the last 4 hours I look to have saved most of the little fuzz balls for CC to play with.

They came and were so cold to touch I am amazed they made it at all. Now they are so darn tired that you pick them up and they flop all over. I have learned to just right them and put them back under the light as they usually perk up.

I feel so sorry for them. Of course in 6-10 weeks I won’t because they will be big, white, ugly, dumb things that we have bred all the brains out of and who are growing so fast they can’t even stand on their own two feet, literally.

Hope all have a good Mother’s Day tomorrow- I will be nursing yellow fuzzies:-)))

Vic’s life is getting busy as she prepares for fishing season and the arrival of the Strongheart family. We’ll be bringing you updates from Victoria and Ann as the season progresses.

We are also keeping an eye on Yukon flooding which has done quite a bit of damage in Stevens Village.

Rena Delbridge reported this at

Alaska state officials grapple with ‘absolute devastation’ on Yukon

… John Moller, rural adviser to Gov. Sarah Palin, said the reality on the ground was worse than he’d expected.

“It’s real difficult to capture in a picture or any type of verbiage the extent of the destruction,” he said. “There were some pretty emotional moments. … It was tough, and I’m an old crab fisherman. I felt their loss.”

People’s lives lay scattered throughout the woods and in standing pools of water shiny with oil. Those who remained seemed shell-shocked and weary.

Turn on the “Way Back” machine. Villages were portable and easily moved when nature required it. There was only natural oil to spill.

Now villages are anchored to airstrips, schools and fuel stations – life has changed!

Please stay tuned – we all seem to be learning there’s never a dull moment in the Yukon.



3 Responses to “Victoria Briggs: Baby Chicks and Oil Slicks”

  1. Martha Unalaska Yard Sign Says:

    Victoria had Easter and Mother’s Day all wrapped up into one! I hope the little survivors are doing OK, and make their expected progression into ugly white chickens who leave lots of eggs. That was a great post, Vic, and you did an excellent job as a peep mother.

    I am keeping a close eye on news of the Yukon break up heading down river. My thoughts and empathy are with the villages dealing with the destruction this year. I know it’s something that is possible every single spring, but that doesn’t make it any less terrifying!

  2. UgaVic Says:


    These guys in few short weeks will be dinner for us and crew. As cute as they are now they grow fast into the dumb white chickens, thanks to ‘improved’ genetics, with no sense that make for better eating than the laying hens!

    Per the post on MF from the Red Cross —
    We are packing up some a box of little packs of soaps, shampoo, lotion and other goodies to send up to help out on to the Yukon. I just can’t imagine the diesel on everything and mess they are dealing with.

    A little something that a number of people here dug around and were able to come up with to help. We are ever so thankful we are not dealing with any of that here.


  3. justafarmer Says:

    I sympathisze with the chickie deaths.
    I had 26 chicks arrive crack of dawn in the mail on Monday. All looked healthy.
    At 5 pm, two had been trampled. I brought them in the house. Did serious and heartfelt intensive care.
    Sadly, they both passed on at 11 pm.
    However, there are still 24 chicks still alive (last time I checked) and a ew of them are like Jack Russell terriers…running around madly and already catching bugs and playing catch-me-if-you-can with the rest.
    I also have four hens sitting solidly on nests in the barn, so I’ll most likely have even more chicks soonest.
    I’m in despair with every tiny death but every new hatchling is a treasure!

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