Tag Archive | hatching

Hens and chicks and chicks and hens

My egg crop is dwindling these days because someone or should I say several of my ladies have decided to be “mommies” too!!  This lady hatched two little ones about two weeks ago.

Black Americana cross with two little chicks.

Black Americana cross with two little chicks.

Then this lady fought me tooth and nail everyday when I tried to stop her broody situation and alas, she won out!  She’ll hatch next Monday if all goes well.

My white hen-broodiest of them all!

My white hen-broodiest of them all!

Ten days later little red hen got real grouchy and tried to peck me every time I caught her on the nest.  I decided there was room enough for a few more chicks in the hen-house so I set her too.

Little red hen; she's really not so little and lays beautiful brown eggs.

Little red hen; she’s really not so little and lays beautiful brown eggs.

Elvis

Elvis

Daddy to all!

Daddy to all!

This may be his last year with the harem if we don’t get better hatches than the previous two were.  Two out of nine eggs hatching is not great odds. He dpes have his own special ladies but you’d think he could spread the love around.   Plus, there’s no eggs coming from these ladies while they’re setting and raising their young.   We’ll see how things go and give progress reports as the summer rolls on.  Now I have to figure out how to stop two more hens that have decided they like this kind of life as well!!

Bitties are growing

Our first chicks of the year are growing fast and their fuzz has turned to pin feathers.  Of the three, two are alive and well.  The little white one got under the grit pan when mom was scratching in the floor material and then he couldn’t get out.  By the time I found her she was gone.  😦   The other two are growing fast and forage all over the farm just like Mom.DSCN5117

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Crow and her month old bitties.

Crow and her month old bitties.

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Free ranging with mom.

Free ranging with mom.

 

In about 10 more days, we’ll have another hatch by this lady.

Black Americana hen that was born last year.  She has 10 eggs under her and we're hoping for a larger hatch than Crow had.

Black Americana hen that was born last year. She has 10 eggs under her and we’re hoping for a larger hatch than Crow had.

Updates later and watching for the next broody mother.

First broody hen of 2014

This is “Crow”.  She is a bantam which means she about half the size of a normal farm hen.  She came to live with me about two years ago after her old family had to move and couldn’t take their chickens with them.  I inherited her and seven or eight more chickens.  Her eggs are about 1/2 the size of a normal chicken but she is a good layer.

CROW-my only bantam hen.  Most bantams are broody and Crow tops the list.

CROW-my only bantam hen. Most bantams are broody and Crow tops the list.

 

Crow has beautiful feathers of black and blue-black that glisten when the sun hits her.

Crow has beautiful feathers of black and blue-black that glisten when the sun hits her.

 

Crow usually gets broody for me about three times a year. Because she is so small, I can only set six to seven regular eggs under her at a time. She is an excellent mother and very, very protective of her new babies.  Generally, fertile chicken eggs which are hatched out by a hen will take 21 days before you see little faces staring at you from underneath their mamma’s wings.  She is the main producer of my replacement hens using the large brown eggs or the blue/green eggs depending on what I have when she decides to “set”.

This is Crow with her first 2013 clutch of bitties!

This is Crow with her first 2013 spring clutch of bitties!  Later in the summer of 2013 she hatched seven more.

The babies she hatched in 2013 are now producing beautiful brown, blue and green eggs for our breakfast and for several of my friends and egg customers.
I set her with seven eggs on March 30th, 2014 and on April 21st I went to check on her after I got home from work and she was all fluffed up and “growling” at me.  I didn’t want to upset her so I didn’t know how many had hatched but knew from her demeanor that she wasn’t completely done.  I walked away anxiously waiting for my first view of our new chicks.  I’ll see them when Crow is ready for me to see them.

Now we have three little balls of fluff.

Their coloring is beautiful!

Their coloring is beautiful!

They're about the size of a golf ball.

They’re about the size of a golf ball.

light brown, caramel, and black/brown coloring.

light brown, caramel, and black/brown coloring.

I won’t be able to tell what their sex is until they’re about three to five weeks old but I was  hoping for at least six hens out of the bunch but I take what I can get.  I have no doubt at all that by mid-June she will “set” again.
More updates as the summer comes to Virginia!!

Three broody hens

This weekend I have new babies.  Three of the four hens I had setting have hatched or are hatching.  The first one I set with ten eggs revealed to me this morning eight multi-colored babies that are adorable.

06282013 chicks (9)

06282013 chicks (5)
06282013 chicks (3)

06282013 chicks (2)

06282013 chicks (1)

06282013 chicks (1)

 

The second hen revealed one last night but Mom won’t move off of them this morning so I can get pictures of them.  She had seven eggs under her and I can’t wait to see how many hatch.  Here she is being very protective.  I’m sure she hasn’t moved off of them because more are trying to hatch.  Hens usually don’t come off the brooding nest until the last one that’s going to hatch comes out of the shell.

2nd hen hatching

2nd hen hatching

 

The third hen has 14 eggs under her and I did find one hatched egg shell in front of her this morning but I don’t expect to see the babies until probably tomorrow.

I know one is hatched because I can see the broken shell right in front of her.

I know one is hatched because I can see the broken shell right in front of her.

More updates and pictures will be revealed in the coming days.  Aren’t they adorable!!

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These are their amorous and proud daddie, Elvis and Romeo!!

Elvis

Elvis

 

Romeo

Romeo

 

Back in a few days with updates!! 😉