Sunday, April 03, 2016

Happy Spring, Peeps!

I hope everyone had a nice Easter.
Ours was nice enough. We went to my parent's place in Florida.
It was just us. And it pretty much rained most of the time.
Oh well. It was nice to get away for a few days, and just rest, no worries, and Mom feeds us well.

So, speaking of Peeps....we got babies!

Back at the end of February, I had bought 24 fertile eggs for Cousin Joe to hatch in his incubator.
Not sure exactly what happened, if it was the eggs, or the incubator, or what, but only 4 of the eggs ended up hatching a chick.

The same day I had went and bought the fertile eggs and put them in the incubator, one of my hens went broody.  Rather than break her from it (because the eggs my hens lay aren't fertile and won't make babies) I bought a dozen of fertile eggs from a neighboring farmlet to let her set on.

I didn't think ahead before putting the eggs under her, and it turned out that the chicks were due to hatch over Easter weekend, while we were going to be out of town. 
I had put them in on a Sunday, so Monday would be Day 1, so I was hoping they'd wait until Monday after Easter, but figured I'd better prepare for it to happen earlier.
Good thing I did, too.
Daniel (my oldest son who was here house/pet sitting) said they started hatching Saturday, the day after we left.

I moved the eggs and hen into a large cage inside the coop before we left.
This keeps the chickens together so the others don't forget Buff, and they're able to get used to the chicks, but not able to get at them to peck them or piss Buff off.

When we got back, there were 8 babies and 3 eggs left in the nest.

One of the remaining eggs had a crack and a small hole, but I thought the chick hadn't been able to make it out and had probably died.
The next day I went to check on them and there was this tiny, new born yellow chick wobbling around like a drunkard.

She (I think it's a she) is obviously the baby of the family. 
Buff says "Bawk!" and the 8 chicks go running with her following, then along comes baby behind, calling, "Peep, peep, peep!" (Wait for me, Ma!)

In the picture above, the 8 chicks are hiding under Buff, and baby is standing there "peeping" at the wall at the back of the cage.
Buff probably wanted her to learn on her own, but I felt sorry for the little thing and put her in front of Buff so she could go under her.

I mean, I would have felt sorry, if I had feelings. I really just didn't want her to get cold and die.

The chicks are about a week old now.
I've been reading, trying to figure out when it will be a good time to let the chicks out amongst the general population.

Some chicken-farmers say they let the chicks be hatched and raised in the coop with all the other chickens from the start, and let the Mother fend for them.

Others say they separate them for awhile.
Awhile seems to be anywhere from a week, to several weeks, to months.

I locked the other hens outside and let Buff and the chicks out to run around the coop for awhile, but I'm still trying to decide how best to see if they all can get along okay.
I don't particularly want to get in the middle of a six big hens, one pissed off Mama Hen, and nine running-faster-than-you-think-they-could baby chicks fiasco.

No comments:

Post a Comment