Tuesday, April 01, 2008

We have chicks at last!

This morning while in the chicken coop I heard the chirping of chicks coming from the corner nest box. As I walked over to investigate I saw a limp chick on the ground under the wall mounted box. My heart sunk at first but when I picked it up I saw a spark of life. There was some blood on the side of it's head, most likely from the fall, but I hoped it was just cold. I slid it into the neck of my fleece jacket as I set about getting a brooder ready.

I found the bottom of a plastic tote up on the deck and brought it down to the coop. I put it into one of the large brooder pens with some straw on the bottom. I then got down one of the brooder heat lamps and set it up over the tote. I held the limp chick under the lamp for about five minutes flipping it over to keep from getting to hot. Once I saw it start to move a bit I set in on the straw under the lamp and went to see how many other chicks I had.

I found three fluffy chicks under the hen in the nest box. I decided the best thing to do to prevent any more falls would be to move the chicks into the tote and move the broody hen and her remaining eggs in the brooder pen along with them. She seems to be a nicely stuck hen and settled right back down on the eggs on the nest I made for her next to the new brooder tote.

Into the tote I but a chick waterer and some chicken pellets that I ran through the blender to become crumbles. The crumbles I put into the bottom of a paperboard egg carton. This is the perfect size and height for young chicks to feed.

My little cold chick was now chirping and moving around a bit, although still not walking well. I have faith that it will continue to improve now that it is warm again and I will find it looking good come morning!

These chicks are mixed "farmyard" birds. The hen sitting on them is a Buff Orpington. The eggs are both light brown and green. The brown eggs could be from the Orpingtons and the New Hampshire Reds and the green eggs from the Easter Eggers. The hens laying these eggs could have bred with any of our roosters which include Welsummer, Cukoo Maren, Barred Rock, Dominique, Speckled Sussex, Dark Cornish or our Hill Roamer Roo. It will be fun to see what they grow into.


Danielle said...

Oh lucky you! I've about given up on getting any of my hens to go broody. *sigh* Maybe next year.

Diana said...

Well, out of about 30 hens I only have three that have gone broody and only one that has been succussful in hatching out her clutch. None of the hens that I am trying to breed for purebreds have gone broody at all. It has been frustrating. I have purchased a small still air incubator but I have been so busy I haven't given it the attention it needed.