Friday, April 20, 2012

Chick adoption (not quilting related)

baby chicks in box in house
I know it is sideways, I tried!
Well, I mentioned yesterday that I we had gotten several baby chicks, and were planning on what we call a chicken adoption.  Let me explain.  We have chickens, laying hens.  We also do not have a rooster, so none of our eggs are fertile, but that does not stop some of the hens from going "broody"  Going broody is when a hen decides to go all maternal, lay a clutch of eggs, sit on them for three weeks to hatch them out, and then raise a clutch of chicks.  All fine except if the eggs are not fertile, the poor hen sits in vain.

Solution.  There are a few.  Last year we traded out the infertile eggs for fertile eggs, and out Goldie Hen hatched out a clutch of assorted chicks.  Easy peasy.  The only draw back from this method is that you end up with half roosters, which I didn't want.  This year we bought day old chicks from the feed store, kept them warm and happy until after dark.  Then we went out with baby chicks, and a flashlight, a pair of gloves, and gently moved the broody hen, took her eggs, and put the baby chicks in her box with her.  We had done this whole process last week with three baby chicks, and the momma hen was so accepting of her new chicks.  She pushed them under her to keep warm and settled right down for the rest of the night.  Next morning, mamma and chicks had bonded well, and all is good.

This week we had two broody hens, so we bought a lot of chicks.  We thought it went so well the first time, and with two hens, and several people who wanted chicks, we bought seventeen.  Long story needing to end, one hen did not want the new chicks.  She was down right mean and nasty to the sweet little chicks, so we went with plan B, which was not a plan at all, but an act of desperation, and gave all seventeen chicks to our big grey hen, and hoped for success.  She seemed to settle down, all chicks were quiet so we called it a night.  Checked on mamma and chicks this morning and all seem to be bonding well.
See the little chick peeking out?  There are 17 chicks under her!

see the tiny legs under the hen.?
Mamma hen and chicks doing well
Well, that's the story of our baby chicks, now I need to get quilting.  Enjoy your weekend, and thanks for visiting.  I appreciate it.   


1 comment:

  1. What a great story, hurrah for the gray hen! The chicks are so cute!