Since the end of May we have at least one broody hen sitting on eggs non stop. After Puffy it was the turn of Snowflake.
Snowflake is a very energetic white silky hen. She is so mobile that I can’t tell precisely when she sat on eggs. Most likely, it was July 30. She was sitting on 9 eggs of her own + one egg from Smarty, the brown laying hen. On August 19 only one egg hatched. Yes, the one from Smarty. All Snowflake’s eggs were unfertilized… After Puffy’s success with 12 chicks I decided to buy 9 more egg laying type chicks for Snowflake. I got 4 white, 3 brown and 2 black chicks one week old. But this time adoption didn’t go so well. First I made a mistake – when I brought chicks it was not yet complete darkness and Snowflake didn’t sleep. Probably she saw me putting the chicks. Second, chicks themselves were afraid from an unfamiliar hen and didn’t go hide under her right away.
Next morning I discovered that only 4 white new chicks and one hatched locally are hiding under the hen. All the rest were standing in a corner. I started negotiations – closed hen’s eyes and putted chicks under her. After several rounds towards evening all chicks, except two black ones, were accepted. What to do with 2 poor guys? Here I recalled that Kevin the rooster never attacks chicks and called him up for fatherhood duty. Not in the same cage though, as Snowflake insisted…
Two days all went almost good (I had to put chicks manually under Kevin at night). On the third day it was the turn of Snowflake and chicks to move the same cage as Kevin. I called my friend’s kids to have some fun carrying chicks to the new cage. All went well, except Snowflake didn’t want to see Kevin in the same cage. So Kevin had to go back to the common coop. And I continued negotiations with Snowflake. The weather was very warm at days, so this time I putted black chicks under her every night, when she was asleep. By August 27 all chicks were accepted at last.
Snowflake with all chicks
After Snowflake, Julie – a bantam hen, that I got recently, sat on eggs. She did her job with excellence. Four out of five eggs (all from white laying hens) hatched! I was not expecting this and ordered 10 meet type chicks for her in advance. When chicks arrived she accepted them all without problems, totaling to 14.
Julie with 14 chicks
I will try to add a helper hen to this large family, with an idea to have a new babysitter.
Meanwhile the common mobile coop finished it’s job on my land and was moved to Sanou’s parcel. Puffy and her meet chicks moved too, into a separate enclosure. Before move I lost 2 meet chicks to sickness because I gave them water from the small pond on the entrance. Other chickens never had problems with this water…
Mobile coop moved to Sanou
Also a chicken hawk visited the new place and took one chanteclerc chick. Now only one chanteclerc remaining alive and she is limping. Pas de succes avec les quebeqoises…