Friday, May 25, 2012

Mother Hen Helping Chick Hatch!

Sorry about the washing machine in the background! Would have been away better video if I had just turned it off but still amazing! I love that Goldie new just when to start helping!

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Broody Hen Q and A

Q: A chicken will hatch eggs that aren't hers??
A: YES! She will sit on balls, eggs, and any other roundish shape she can find! You can even give her duck eggs to hatch!
Q: Will she care for the chicks all by herself?
A: If she is a breed that is known for being a good mother then she will hatch and care for the chicks all on her own. Just make sure the chicks have food and water available. If she is a breed that is not known for good mothering, then you need to be preapared to take the chicks when they hatch and raise them your self.
Q: Can she join the rest of the flock in the main coop right away?
A: No. She needs some time with her chicks on her own. She would protect her chicks from the other hens but you can never be sure.

Monday, May 14, 2012

Broody Hen Part 1 of 3

I was so excited to find out that I a broody hen! It was my Goldie! She is a gold Buff Orphington and I noticed that she was in the nesting box when we collected eggs in the morning(not unusual) and then a little boy wanted to collect an egg mid day and she was still in there but I didn’t think anything of it. It wasn’t until I let all of the hens out of their run that I figured out she was broody! I didn’t see her so I went to check the nesting box and there she was…Growling at me:) I new she was broody but before I purchased fertile eggs I wanted to make sure she would stick with it if I transferred her. So that NIGHT I went and got her out of her nesting box and moved her into a medium sized dog crate. And put the crate in this enclosure(It’s next to that open window so that swap cooler air can keep her cool. I have been told that this is really late in the season to be broody due to the heat and she is NOT a heat tolerant bird)037

The dog crate had alfalfa hay in it and then pine shavings on top so that she could make a nice deep pit for her eggs. Now she was not sitting on eggs at this point. She was sitting on BALLS! LOL all different colors of balls! I put 12 balls under her to see if she would keep them all and she did!!! So that morning I ran to a local chicken raiser who has fertile eggs and purchased a dozen for 8$


That NIGHT(important to always do things at night for chickens) I made the switch from BALLS to eggs! I was so happy to see her snuggled up on all of the eggs in the morning!


She is such a great mommy! You can see in this next video how she tends to her nest and warns away danger(lol My camera).

When a chicken is “broody”: wanting to sit on her eggs to hatch them. She will stay on the nest 24/7. She will only get up once a day for a very short time to get a drink, eat and, poop and then she is right back on the nest! It’s amazing dedication! The brief break gives the eggs a much needed cooling period and then the mommy turns them as she gets back on her nest.


Here you can see her getting pretty ticked at us for being near her nest on one of her very rare outings!

After she sat on her eggs for 9 day I decided to candle some of them and see how things were going. I used my husband LED flash light to put behind the egg and wrapped my hand around the it. As you can see there is the beginnings of a chick!


In this video you can actually see the chick moving around inside! We were in Awe!

I candled this egg on the same night and I didn’t see anything insideSad smile I am leaving it in to see if it will still develop…we’ll see


Stay tuned! Hatching day is May 24th!!

Thursday, May 10, 2012

DIY Quad Nesting Box

We made this months ago so I can’t remember the measurments! Woops!

It doesn’t really matter because you are going to make it whatever size fits your coop! Hope the pictures are a good enough guide;)


The wood you can see through the box is NOT attached! Just being used as a table.


Love this Man!


Nail in the middle piece dead center


Ledge to keep the bedding in.


Cut to squares to separate the boxes. Privacy is important to the girls:)


Open on both sides so that we can collect eggs and clean the boxes easily.


The whole thing is removable so that I can still clean the coop easily:)


Fake eggs(golf balls) help encourage the girls to lay in all of the boxes and not all try to get in just one. Yes they have tried to nest in the same box at the SAME time! Hilarious!


Now start collecting!


Friday, May 4, 2012

Chicken Coop Extension

Here are pictures of the original…


The 5 feet on the right was the add onSmile The girls are loving the space!


We made a little ramp…


We used 2by4’s for the roosts inside the coop…

(Looking in From the right side)


(Looking in from the left side where the nesting boxes are)


Both sides open up completely for easy cleaning and the quad nesting box is removable(I’ll post how to build that later:)


They now have 81 square feet of run(the ground) space PLUS 36 square feet of coop(the red part up above) space.