Posts tagged ‘chicks’

January 15, 2014

Wordles Wednesday: Egg-spanding the flock!

October 14, 2013

Broody Hen

Several weeks ago – more specifically 3 weeks- my most favorite hen went missing. With the fox nabbings we’ve experienced, I thought for sure she was a gonner. One morning she showed up to eat but I didn’t see her again for the rest of the day. I have 3 others of the same breed and that’s how – so far- I have been able to keep track of everyone. I know I have a certain number of each kind. The next day I thought I was imagining things when I saw her the day before as she was not there to eat breakfast and gave her up for dead and figured I was crazy. Then, she reappeared to eat, then disappeared and I could never tell where she was coming from or going to. At that point I assumed she had “gone broody” (had made a nest for herself and was setting eggs).  The kids and I looked all over…in the barn in the hay stacks, in the chicken coop, in the outbuildings and we could not find her anywhere!

I figured one day she’d either show up with chicks or show up with nothing because of a bad hatch and she could get back to life as normal with the rest of the flock.

Last week I was picking up some tools that were left out when we were installing new water and electrical lines near the new milk barn site and there she was…hidden very carefully in a pile of old tractor tire walls (our neighbor cuts off the walls of the tractor tires and uses just the cylinder for planing in (raised beds), we took the tire walls for a project.)

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How clever she is! This morning I took her a little food and what did I hear but peep peep peep! How wonderful, she hatched chicks! Three so far and they look to be Blue Laced Red Wyandottes. She had a lot of eggs underneath her. I saw her up and about one afternoon late last week and I checked on the nest to get an estimate and she had quite a few. If I had to guess, I would say she was probably the only one contributing to this nest as I wasn’t lacking for eggs in the nesting boxes from the other girls but who knows how many of that clutch will hatch as eggs are generally only good for about 10 days in ideal conditions.  We had some very cold nights there a couple of weeks back when I believe she was still overnighting in the coop so the eggs were left out but we’ll see.

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I am very excited that we have a broody hen now.

 

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October 10, 2013

Feather sexing chicks

Did you know some breeds of chickens can be feather sexed with good accuracy?

They say feather sexing can be done between 1-3 days old. I prefer feather sexing between 3-5 days old (day 4-5, for me, being ideal on the tinier chicks from small pullet eggs and day 2-3 for regular size chicks). I have only feather sexed layers of some breeds but have done so with pretty good accuracy.

I’ve compiled a few websites on feather sexing:

http://animalsciences.missouri.edu/reprod/ReproTech/Feathersex/

http://scratchcradle.wordpress.com/2012/04/19/chick-sexing-techniques/

http://www.daff.qld.gov.au/animal-industries/poultry/care-and-husbandry/chicken-sexing

http://www.daff.qld.gov.au/animal-industries/poultry/care-and-husbandry/chicken-sexing

And once you’ve read through those, try your hand! http://www2.ca.uky.edu/smallflocks/Feather_sexing_practice.html