We've got two broody chooks sitting for a few weeks (by my estimation, 4 weeks but looks like not so?) and today we saw first natural hatched chick!
The broodies have over 20 eggs between them and what so strange about it is that they're sharing the same nesting box! Thats right, they're sleeping, sitting and breathing into each other for 3+ weeks - I'd be raving mad after a week!
So now I am in a difficult situation where I have to make some tough calls regarding how to manage this. They're in the chook house with the rest of flock, so I have to decide to leave them as they are or separate them. If separating them, then I'd have to find a spot and some shetler for them... I've always thought it is fine to leave as they are, but apparently from some quick research it is not recommended! Some stated that other chooks will try and kill the chicks, and even worse - the rooster might lose his feather and boot out his descendants into nothing!
So I will have to sleep on this and survey the situation tomorrow when the weather dries up and make decisions and take photos whereas possible.
Anyhow, during my quick online research I've found several great sites about the broodiness and take care of chicks, etc.
- "Working with Broody Hens" - http://www.themodernhomestead.us/article/Broody-Hens-1.html
- "Setting Hens" - http://www.geocities.com/Heartland/Plains/4175/hens.html
- "Raising Chickens" - http://www.fishpondinfo.com/birds/chickbreed2.htm
- "Raising Chicks with a Mother Hen" - http://www.ithaca.edu/staff/jhenderson/chooks/chicks.html
- "Brooding" - http://www.chicken-yard.net/keeping/brooding.html
- "Brooding Chicks: Two Options" - http://www.themodernhomestead.us/article/Brooding+Chicks.html
Will post here again in few days time. So come back for some more laughs! ;)
And yes we're getting more soaked today - it's so nice to see puddles everywhere and everything much more green and 'lushy' now.
Cheers till later!