Sunday, May 4, 2008

New Family...

I have one hen who has been off on her own for the past few weeks. I knew she had a clutch of eggs SOMEWHERE, but never managed to find out where. I would see her for "breakfast" but then she would disappear for the rest of the day.

I had had hens decide to nest in some pallets I have, and a couple other places, but it always has ended badly. Either the hen gets caught by something, the eggs are eaten by a skunk or opossum, of IF the eggs manage to hatch, the chicks are eaten by something.

I hadn't seen the hen for a couple of days, so I feared the worst. She had been forgoing even breakfast for a few days before that. I just figured she had finally run out of luck.

This morning at about 11:00, I noticed her down by the goat pen. I was about 100' away, but I could clearly make out a few fluffy balls following her around.

I called Deb and told her to look out of the window. They were clear across the yard from the house, but it was easy to tell she had a brood following her around. I counted at least 8.

Deb came out a few minutes later to take a couple pictures, and then we caught them so we could put them in the brooder house.

I went to the barn and brought out a small pan of corn. Naturally, half of the herd followed me down to where momma hen was. I just set the pan down, and they all headed straight for it - including mom.

The chicks weren't real hard to catch. They basically stood in one place and wondered where mom went. We managed to get TEN chicks into a bucket.

At this point, Deb asked me how I was gonna catch mom. I walked over and picked her up from feeding her face in the pan. She was still in the midst of gobbling corn, and several pieces fell out of her mouth. She hadn't eaten well for the past several days..... She was pretty "flabby", but could still put up a fight. I tucked her under my "wing" and headed for the brooder house.

I don't think mom was impressed with her new "digs", but she will have to be satisfied with what she has for awhile. I put in a tuna can filled with corn for her - which she inhaled - and some food for the chicks. She has become sort of a "wild" bird since she has been on her own all spring. I want to make sure that her youngins get used to being in a coop - at least at night. This hen has always been "friendly", so I'm hoping she will "tame up" again.

I am GUESSING, but I would say these chicks are about 3 days old.

1 comment:

  1. Glad the chicken showed up with the chicks. I think it is always nice when they come in with a bunch like that.



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