Monday, June 29, 2020

Baby Chick Time!

It's that time of year when I am wondering why some of my momma hens aren't going broody (want to hatch eggs) and then suddenly they are and then suddenly (actually 21 days later) we have chicks!  I needed more pullets (female chicks) so that I can increase my egg layers.  I am not able to fill my current egg orders, LOL.  I had more hens last year and got rid of a bunch because I did not have egg orders and had too many eggs.  So many of my hens are older now and not laying much but they are also pets to me and my son is attached to several of our earlier brood.  The solution, more chicks!

Abigail and some of her brood

Before all was done and said, I ended up with 3 broody moms and 13 chicks!  I ended up buying 6 pullets so I would be sure to have egg layers and the rest were hatches.  Abigail, one of my trusty moms hatched out 4 eggs, and then she took in the 6 I bought.

Josephine, my banty, sitting on two chicks

It's been a challenge housing them all, but I think I have it worked out at this point.  I have Abigail and Josephine sharing the brooder space in one of my coops and then another new mom with just one baby in a separate cage in another coop.  I have successfully let moms raise the babies and integrate them just fine into the main coop, but I have also lost chicks allowing them to do this.  I lost one this time too and it was a special one for me.  I have made the decision to never again let my moms hatch outside of the protection of a separate cage.  My plan at this point is to try to acquire some simple rabbit cages that I can put in two of my pens to be able to comfortably and safely house multiple broods.

Chick hatched by my new mom. Look at those fuzzy legs/feet!

There are some pretty and cute chicks hatched this time.  I cannot wait to see how they will feather out.  They change so much and often have a completely different color pattern as they age.  It's also amazing at how fast they feather out.

Another cutie that I am pretty sure is an easter egger mix.

It's been a lot more work having 3 mommas at the same time, but I think things are working out.  As the chicks grow it will no doubt get more interesting.  They'll start to outgrow their areas and I will be forced to let the moms integrate them into the flock. Hopefully, they will be a couple months old or older by that time.

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