Sunday, June 22, 2008

Empty Brooder Boxes....

I decided that today was the day to move my Momma hens and their broods. I do this to make room for any other broodies and so they are easier to take care of. In the "chick pen" (where they are now) they also have access to a - albeit small - outside run. The hens will stay in with the chicks for a couple of weeks then I send them back to the "general population", while the chicks stay behind for awhile longer.

This group of hens had 11 chicks - 6, 4, and 1. I gave the single chick to one of the other hens, so I now have a poor momma hen looking for her child. It's kinda sad, but it is better off this way - and it was readily adopted by it's new "foster" mom.
Both of the other hens are friendly to each other, me, and other birds. I left 5 of the older chicks in with them and they even adopted THEM. I was surprised, but, hey, whatever works....

It was odd to see the older chicks - who were ones I had gotten from a store - run to a hen with her brood. They had never been with their own mother, but I guess the instinct is there. The first two were Barred Rock chicks that are 3 weeks old. The two hens were sitting next to each other with their broods under their wings. The two BR chicks just ran over and jumped right on top, then crawled underneath with the rest of them. The other three older ones stood back and watched. When they figured nothing bad was gonna happen, they snuggled up, too.

I already have another hen starting to act broody - we'll see if she "holds on to the thought" for a few days.

Since I had 4 broodies at the same time for awhile, I ran short of nest boxes. I ended up using a refrigerator "salad" drawer for one. It seemed to work nicely. It was just the right size and low enough so the chicks could hop out and learn to eat. I have collected a few of them, but need to get a few more.

They come in handy for a lot of things. They work good when used as a drain pan when changing your oil. They work better for this task if you don't forget and run over it because you left it under the car.......

We are HOPING that tomorrow (or sometime soon....) that we will find out from the VA when and where my appointment about surgery is.

Since we know that family members check in on both my wife's and my blogs -- I guess there is no news yet!

In the mean time, we are still waiting for the daily showers to end so we dare cut hay. Sooner or later it will and we will get it in.

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