Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Momma was a Chicken Farmer

All my life I remember chickens at home.  Rhode Island Reds, Leghorns, Plymouth Rocks and cross breeds.  Momma would order chickens and they came by mail.  The mail lady came to our house blowing her horn, she wanted to get the chickens out of her car.  The box would be opened and she gave them water as soon as they drank she fed oatmeal.  They were put in  the washtub with newspaper on the bottom.  She would set a hen and have baby chickens at the same time.  Momma's plan was for the momma hen  to take care of the purchased chicks.  Sometimes this did not work out.  Introducing new chickens is somewhat of a challenge.  But in time things do seem to work.

Momma would always do one hatching in the spring which had the hen so confused she did not know what to do.  Momma would buy 2 duck eggs and 2 goose eggs, she set the hen on the 4 eggs and one week later she added the chicken eggs.  Duck and geese eggs take about  28 days to hatch and chickens are 21 days.  That poor hen would look at the ducks and geese wondering what had happen to her eggs, how could they turn out looking like they did.  Look at those feet they are not like mine and the beak is different to mine.  Being a good momma she would gather the strange looking birds,  put them under her to stay warm as she clucked to them just like the  chicks.  They may look funny but she had hatched them and she was going to take care of them.

Last Thursday, I went to close up the chicken coop for the night and I was short one little girl.  Mr. Bootsie started looking for her and checked the nesting boxes.  Pulled the curtain back on one and there was a noise we had never heard before.  I thought something was wrong with the chicken.  I felt under her, she had eggs and when I pulled them out she was not happy.  I have had broody hens that did not lay for sometime but never have I had this.  Friday she stayed in the nest box all day.  Friday night I stole all of her eggs again.  She is really not happy with me.  Now when she sees me coming she starts squawking.

Mr. Bootsie said maybe we should set her.  He, who, did not get excited about having chicks, he wants to set a chicken.  I get so confused.  I would love to have my own babies but I thought he would never want us to set a chicken.  We do not have a rooster.  I called a local farm which sells fertile eggs and they had just filled the incubators.  No eggs until next week.

Wednesday would be the day they may have a few Maran eggs.  They would be blue or blue splash. I just need fertile eggs I can not be choosey.  I called the farm today and YES they have eggs.  They told me they only had 9 and how many did I need.  This girl is so little I knew 9 would be too many.  Let me try 6,  they took my order and told me they would hold them for me.  I picked up my eggs and came home to set my girl.

I left her with 4 eggs under her this morning and when I went down to set her she had 10 eggs under her.  She must be getting everyone to lay in her nest.  I had fixed a pet carrier to set her in.  I took her off the nest and put my girl in the pet carrier with the eggs and straw.  She was not a happy camper.  I fixed her some food and water and put that in with her which  did not help.  Mr. Bootsie came in from work and she was pushing the eggs out of the nest.  I thought she needed to get them where she wanted them.

This evening when the chicken coop was closed things were going good.  All I can say about today is I set my first hen around 4:00 p.m. e.d.t. and now if all goes well April 25th or 26th I should have some baby chicks.

                                         I need to purchase a quart waterer,
                                                   cute little feed tray for them to eat from.
                                                                             Chick starter for them to eat.



 Day 21 About 12:30 p.m. Aurora hatched the first little chick.














By 6:00 p.m. Four little chicks have hatched.



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