Monday, May 16, 2011

broody hens

One of last years Cuckoo Maran chicks we raised is now a young hen, she just started sitting on eggs for the first time 2 days ago, I placed all of that day's eggs under her.  She made a huge ruckus when I did, sitting hens don't like you to lift them even a little, they are moody and broody.

Henrietta went broody twice last year in the Spring and Fall, she is a wonderful mother to her chicks, it is valuable to have a good mother hen.  The other hen last year that had chicks was an Americana hen, she just kind of quite taking care of her chicks when they were very young, she wasn't a very good mother.  I hope the young Cuckoo Maran hen is a better mother.  I only have one brooder/chick area, and will have to set up another one in the chicken coop soon.

Henrietta is below, she's been sitting on a dozen eggs for 6 days now.  It takes 21 days of a hen sitting on the eggs for them to hatch out.  So she will hatch in around 15 days, or May 30th.  cuckoo maranwill hatch out around June 3rd, she's also sitting on around a dozen eggs.  The hens will get up off the eggs at least once a day for 10 or 15 minutes to go to the bathroom, eat, drink water, and stretch their legs, then they hurry back to the nest to resume sitting and patiently waiting.

I know this sounds like a lot of chicks, but they don't usually all hatch, and some may not make it.  I'll be happy if I get 7 or 8 chicks from each hen.  Then when they're day old, if I want to add any other chicks I pick up from the feed store, similar in age and size of the new chicks you can put them under the hen at night, and by morning she will accept and raise the new ones right along with hers.  I want to add a couple banties and a couple more Silver laced wyandottes, and my husband wants another white silkie.  We had a banty named Olga and a white silkie named Starbird, and we lost both of them, they were favorites of ours.  I want to put them under Henrietta to raise.

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