Saturday, April 19, 2008

New Babies....

At the end of March, I had 3 hens that were broody. I took them out of the hen house and set them up in cages in the new brooder house so the other hens would leave them alone. Since then, I have been watching and waiting.

A few days ago, I started to check them to see if we had any new arrivals. Last night, there were still no new ones under any of them. This morning, I noticed that one of the hens was sitting "funny". I lifted her up and saw two beadie little eyes staring out at me. I lifted mom up and out of the nest and saw 5 new babies!

I checked her just after noon today and found 6 chicks and three more unhatched eggs. Hopefully, the last three eggs will hatch this afternoon.

This is the second hen that went broody. The first one was about 6 days ahead of her and the third one is about 4 days after her. None of the first hen's eggs have hatched and it has been 26 days. I decided she isn't going to hatch any so I took her out of the brooder house, and got rid of her eggs. She was ready to get out and stretch her legs after being "in the box" for three and 1/2 weeks.

I'll let the new babies clean up some of the shells before I clean our their box and get mom's cage looking good again. Mom probably wants to get out and about, but she will have to wait a bit longer.

I have no idea what breed these new ones are. Basically, they are pure bred "Heinz 57". This brings the total to 37 chicks so far this spring. Hopefully we will get a few more. There is one more hen sitting, and another hen that disappears during the day and re-appears every morning for breakfast. Hopefully, she has a clutch hidden somewhere protected.

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