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Going for Gold

September 6th, 2014

Broody hen is at it again, she went broody a few weeks ago.  I had already removed the wooden eggs from the nests, these help keep the chickens laying in the nesting boxes as opposed to making their own nests out about about. That also means that they want to lay eggs in the nest that has eggs in it, aka the one broody hen is sitting on.  So the wooden eggs returned and fertile eggs from the neighbor were given to Miss Broody. Hopefully this will keep the other hens from crowding her out of her nest.
broody hen
I marked all the eggs I want to hatch and will check daily to remove any extras that appear, that doesn’t usually happen with the wooden eggs in the other boxes. I tried to separate her into the portable coop so she could hatch her eggs in peace, but she was having none of that. She must be an extrovert.
broody hen and chicks 1
Hopefully Miss Broody will successfully hatch out another clutch of littles, we’re hoping to completely replace our flock next spring with the hens she’s hatched this summer. If this batch hatched one will go to the neighbor to replace a hen he lost recently and to repay him for giving us fertile eggs. Keep your fingers crossed for Broody Hen.

More Nuggets

July 2nd, 2014

Exactly eight weeks to the day, broody hen hatched out another batch of nuggets.  This time there were four that she hatched and two pipped eggs remained in the nest.  I put them under a damp towel and a heat lamp inside and one little one hatched out.  I snuck it under broody hen that night and the next morning it was running around with the rest of them.
nuggets 2
If we’re lucky she’ll hatch out one more batch before the cold weather starts to hit. We’ll keep the hens for our laying flock and one rooster, the remaining roosters will become meat birds. This is a good reason to have dual purpose breeds, then the extra roosters make find roasting birds.  At the moment we’re thinking in her previous brood there are three roosters and two hens and they’re Wyandottes so they should make a meaty roasting bird.
nuggets 1
There’s also another broody hen sitting on a nest of eggs we got from a friend. We’re hoping she hatches out a good number to add some new varieties of chickens and fresh genes to our flock. I checked yesterday and she had three pipped eggs. I’m keeping my fingers crossed that she’s as good a mama as the original broody hen is.

Any new life in your garden?

New Life

April 29th, 2014

Miss Broody finally has a few babies. Last Friday morning I noticed a little chick in the nesting box when I checked on her. Sadly, there was one that hadn’t made it through the hatching process as well.
broody hen and chicks 1
I checked on her on Saturday morning and there were a few more chicks and a couple more in the process of hatching out. Monday morning I moved them from the tiny nesting box into a small brooder in the chicken coop with food, water and a small heat lamp.
broody hen and chicks 2
It will be interesting to watch these little ones grow up to see what they look like. Some of them should be Wyandottes, some of the will be barnyard mixes, no doubt they’ll all be just as great as their parents!
broody hen and chicks 3
Miss Broody went right to work showing her babies how to scratch around in the litter, drink from their water bowl and eat the food I provided for them. I wanted to put them outside but it was very cold and rather windy. If they could easily navigate in and out of the coop I would have let her simply take them wherever she wanted, but our coop is not accessible to little birdies, that’s something we’re hoping to work on. There are also lots of layers of chicken wire installed by the previous owner and it is kind of a land mine for little ones.
broody hen and chicks 4
In the future we hope to have a new coop with a dedicated brooding area for mama birds to hatch out their young and it will have a dedicate run area attached to it for safe outdoor fun for little babies. Until then, we’ll make do with what we have, which probably means carrying them outside into a fenced in area and then carrying them back in at night. It will be well worth the effort in the health benefits it will provide for the little ones.

Any wonderful things happening in your house/garden/coop?

Broody Hen

April 3rd, 2014

I finally have a broody hen, which is funny. Most people try to figure out ways to break their hens of their broodiness, I’ve been wanting one of mine to go broody. This little lady started to feel broody a week or so ago, she spends more and more time in the nesting box each day.
broody hen
Now that she’s sitting all day I’m going to move her to a small dog kennel with a nest and a few eggs I’ve been saving from my Wayndotte hens. Hopefully she’ll hatch out a few chicks. ‘Tis the season, it seems all the wildlife around here is started to get ready for the upcoming warm weather. I’ve seen lots of activity with the local ravens and hawks, they seem to be getting ready to make nests and raise new clutches of little ones.

Have you noticed any animals starting to get ready for the season of babies?

Reading & Watching
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About

This is a daily journal of my efforts to cultivate a more simple life, through local eating, gardening and so many other things. We used to live in a small suburban neighborhood Ohio but moved to 153 acres in Liberty, Maine in 2012.

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