Four new chicks!
By the end of the week, they will go outside and begin learning foraging skills from her. A few times during the day and all through the night, she will protect the chicks from the cool temperatures and give them necessary rest, protection and warmth under her feathers. It will take a few days until their downy fluff is replaced by bigger feathers.
Eventually, when the chicks are agile enough to climb the ramp to the coop, they may return to their original nest box for the evenings. Even after the hen has detached from her chicks (many weeks later), the chicks will not venture far from each other and will often sleep cuddled up together.
Older, but still fun news....
Our second broody hen of the season... Due Monday the 18th!!
Broody has hatched some chicks!!
It's always a busy place in the hen house, but it was especially eventful when Broody's chicks appeared! We noticed she had become broody in late March, so, on April 1st we marked some eggs and let her go about her business. She worked with diligence setting on the eggs, tucking them under her feathers, and only taking a few short breaks for herself. Sure enough, 21 days later, we had some new additions on the farm! Here are some photos... Enjoy!
Whenever the chicks get cold or scared, they pop back under their mothers' feathers. She responds to their peeping sounds, and has sounds of her own that they react to. This will be vital to their survival when they are outside.
The chicks will be close by their mother hen for many weeks, learning by watching. Eventually she will leave them alone and go back to laying eggs. In a few months, they will be laying eggs too!