A while ago I had a couple hens that went broody so I decided to let one of them sit on a clutch of eggs. I’ve never actually done this before. One year I had a hen hatch some eggs but that was an accident. She disappeared one day and I found her hidden in some bushes on a nest of eggs.
Anyway, I decided on a spot to seclude her from the rest of the flock, tucked 9 eggs under her and let her be. It was around 15 days or so that I risked putting my hand under her to see the eggs. (She pecks HARD!) I see that there aren’t 9 eggs anymore but only 7. She ate 2 of her eggs. I didn’t think the rest would hatch because they had gotten egg yolk and white on them, but decided I’d wait and see.
On the morning of the 21st day I see a chick under the hen, but it’s not moving. Later that day I look again and low and behold there’s another chick hatched! And it’s alive! so exciting!
I left the other eggs under her for another 3 days but looks like there’s only one little chick. I can’t tell if it’s a poult or cockerel. We’ll have to wait to see.
This post is part of Simple Lives Thursday hosted by GNOWFGLINS, A Little Bit of Spain in Iowa, Sustainable Eats, and Culinary Bliss.
Chicken yard cleaned up
I have an area penned off for the chickens so they can roam around outside without getting into my garden or vulnerable to preditors. With only 11 hens and one rooster, the area was quickly becoming choked out with thistle. It had gotten 5 feet high! The chickens, of course loved it and found it to be the perfect place to hide their eggs, which I didn’t know about (I guess that is their point). By the time I found the eggs, they were headed for the garbage… ewww! We got to work clearing the thistle and other weeds that had taken the yard over. It took a few hours spread over 2 days to finish. We found a few more rotten eggs (time bombs) in the process. We have a few big piles of weeds to burn or dispose of somehow. The chickens are very happy now because I had confined them indoors until the problem was solved. And I’m happy because no more wasted eggs. Once the younger hens get big enough, in about a month, I’ll mix them with the other hens. Hopefully having 36 chickens outside will help keep the weeds down.
Chickens being chickens
The hens are keeping warm in the barn this winter. I have some black sexlink hens and a few partridge rock hens, one black sexlink rooster. Naturally hens will stop laying when the days get shorter. This is an important time for them to rest, but after several weeks, I have lights on a timer that I start to come on in the mornings. Gradually I have the lights coming on earlier and earlier until the days are about 14 hrs and they return to laying again. Continue reading