Monday, April 16, 2012

Growing Up

Our first chick is getting bigger by the hour. I swear every time I head out to
the Rural Roost, he or she is taller and has less down and more feathers.
Over the last few weeks I've realized I should have put more thought into coop lighting,
while designing the Rural Roost. This is the first decent shot in two weeks I've been able
 to make without using the flash. You don't want to know how low...inside the coop...
I had  to go to take this photo either. Really, you don't.

Laurie is now big enough to fly or jump out of the brooder and follow Mama
around the coop and out into the run. It's pretty weird to see this little one scratching
 and pecking outside already even if it is under close observation. Eli and the other
girls weren't impressed about being shut out of the run, but since they still had 
 2.5 acres and a large pond for their amusement, they didn't get much sympathy
from me. Besides they were busy most of the time pretending to be of the canine species.
Meanwhile, back inside the coop, we have another broody hen. Chanteclers
are not supposed to be known for their broodiness so two out of four in the last
month  makes some good broody genes coming from our hens. Of course, she
waited to  become broody just a few days after borrowing an incubator and setting
it up with  twenty eggs which are due to hatch this weekend.
I think things are about to get a whole lot busier around here.


And once again,  I'm holding my hat out to all my chicken raising friends for a bit of advice.

We have one brooder with a mama and her baby in the coop. Baby will be 3.5 weeks
when the next mama 'delivers'. Will baby be old enough to be with the big chickens
to make room in the brooder for the new mama? We were hoping to put the hatchlings
from the incubator in the coop brooder, but we may have to raise them inside with us,
unless one of the two mama hens would be likely to 'adopt' them?

~Be well friends!~

 then, she {snapped}


Gail said...

If you still have a setting hen, you may be able to slip the babies under her at night. Twenty will take two hens I would say. Remove her eggs, replace them with chicks.

Judy said...

Wish I could help...Oh I want chicks again...sigh.

Chris at Red Gate Farm said...

They sure do grow up fast! I see she's getting some real feathers now... those awkward tween years ;)

Wish I could help with the questions but we bought our hens as chicks and just for eggs to use. No rooster, no baby chicks.... I have however heard about using a red light when mixing up any ages to keep any younger ones from being pecked.


Mary Gene Atwood said...

Love those chicks...broody mama so adorable too.

Mary, Windy Meadows Farm said...

I took the "chicken's" way out...we have all hens. Although, a few chicks again would be fun! I agree with Chris..I've read that the red light does calm them and stop the pecking. Can't wait to see more. -Mary

Jocelyn said...

You can try what Gail suggests, but it may not work. They KNOW which babies are theirs and which are not. I've tried before to do this--never took. However, it's worth a shot with the new mama. Right after her chicks hatch, put the other chicks with them. Watch and see. If she won't accept them, you'll know pretty quickly.

I wouldn't put the 3 1/2 week olds out with the older chicks without some acclimation time. The older chicks won't see the little ones as babies, they will see them as threats. They don't reason the way people do, which makes sense.

Sheesh, did I write enough? My advice in a nutshell: keep the first mama and her chick in the brooder--it's probably the safest. The other chickens have forgotten her by now and she'll be an enemy and the chicks will be enemies too. Add the new mama and her chick. They should get along ok, as they have their own charges to care for. The hatchlings, if no one takes them, you might need another brooder for.

I hope that helped.

Unknown said...

No suggestions on the chicks but I just love the pics of the chick with her mama. So cute. Stopping my from Elaine's.

Jocelyn said...

Hey there again!

Yup, I think you'll know very quickly if they won't get along, but I wouldn't pull them apart immediately--I would give it time to see if they can learn to get along. If they really start going for each other's babies, though, I would separate them.

And yes, I would definitely wait until the second mama's chicks hatch. If you move her and her eggs, she may not care, but then again, you may "reset" her, and she might decide that those eggs aren't her eggs, and go start over again with a whole new batch. I've had broody mamas who could be moved and just as many who couldn't. I would just wait it out to be safe.

PS--You are right. Ducklings ARE the cutest babies in the world! They even make cute noises!

Nancy said...

I've had turkeys that will hatch chickens and geese that hatch guineas. If you can get some eggs under a broody hen -- the more the better. She won't know the difference. I would not put the little one out with the older chicks. I'd leave her with her momma for as long as you can.

Unknown said...

I have NO idea about raising chickens but I am loving following along and the smiley face on that egg! :D

Michelle said...

Lucky you!

vintage grey said...

Oh, I wish I could give you some help!! They are getting so big!! Love the smiley face! xo Heather

Saun said...

Love this the puppies are sleeping and I'm doing a little catch up. :)

Beth in NC said...

I have never hatched an egg here. I have heard though if you place a new chicken in the coop when the others are on the roost at night -- they supposedly awaken and accept them. Who knows though!

I love the pics!

I hope you'll come over and check out my chicks and coops.


rachel said...

these are great shots, but I have NO idea about raising chickens so I can't help you there!!

Unknown said...

Love that LOW shot... definitely worth the effort (and ummm.... mess?). Have you thought of putting all the chicks in the brooder and separating them with some type of chicken wire or screen until the little chicks catch up a bit? I'm about to have the same issue here. I had 24 chicks on order and then succumbed to the cuteness and unusual variety at the feed store, so I brought home 4 others that will be at least 4 weeks older than the new chicks; neither will be ready for being with the big girls. So I'm thinking perhaps an old screen to separate them in the brooder area? I'll have to see...