Chicken and Chick update!
So, Spring has sprung with a noise somewhat like SPRRROOIIIINGGG…cheep!
Feral hatched her six eggs with no help required, as per my earlier post here, and has kept them all alive and happy. She’s a legend. Brave (the chicken who used to sit on my head when I went out to feed them) did similar, but with eight chicks.
Now they all hang out together, and there is a fluffy river of chicks in the yard.
Then the fun started in earnest – with somewhere between 4 and 8 chickens deciding to go broody in the shed, pinch each others eggs, steal new eggs that were being laid, abandon newly hatched chicks… argh. I ended up implementing a ‘first to hatch a chick and be an actual mother gets ALL the chicks for awhile’ policy, which (touch wood) is working: We now have Buffy (a Buff Orpington cross, NOT for the vampire slayer) with 5 chicks, and Jet (my huge black and brown Orpy) now with 8.
These vary in age, because some of the chicks were abandoned by their stoopid broody mothers and there was no adoptive parent available at the time, so I’ve also had various numbers of chicks inside under lamps.
Luckily, since the first one, Cornelius, I havent had to sleep beside any and pat them all night to keep them happy. He had a semi-hernia, but he survived. I also found two so close to frozen that I thought they were dead, but once I noticed they had a slight pulse I tucked them up against me until they warmed to body temp and started moving, then put them under the lamps, and they’ve both made it. YAY!
Note on the strange naming system: I name my birds by the year they hatch, now. All chicks bought/born last year have names starting with B, they were my second year birds. This year they have to start with C. Let me tell you, that leads to temptation when you’re a potty mouth like me, and they’re peeping in the middle of the night 😀
Have a great day!