Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Aurora's Daughter, Second Generation of Mother Hens

With patience I have waited,  one of our young girls is going to go broody.  I was hoping it would be one of Aurora's girls, as they have an attitude like their mom.  I was so smart to hatch 2 of her eggs in the incubator last spring.  There was never a broody hen on the farm last year, until very late in the summer and I refuse to have fall baby chicks, late summer is too hot for the hen to be stuck on the nest and when it is fall I may need to bring the chicks inside to keep them warm.

Wednesday morning, I found her, setting on 4 eggs, butt stuck in the corner and I told Mr. Bootsie, "We have a broody."  I went on doing my morning chores, and I saw him moving quickly to finish his chores.  By the time I came back to the coop, the brooder box had fresh hay on the floor, the waterer was filled with fresh water.  I was shocked to find things coming together without my having to do anything.  Are you going to move her now?  No, I will wait until tonight.  She should settle in better.

Now I must confess the four chicks we have from last year have not been named.  There were 2 of Aurora's girls and 2 of Blanches' girls which are cross breed to lay green eggs.  For some reason I just could never come up with a name that fit better than little black hens and red hens.  Maybe that will change this spring/summer.

When it was time to bed down the girls, I chose the eggs I wanted to put under my girl.  Every egg I have is crossbred at this time.  I like cross breeds, I think for layers they make a kinder, more gentle bird.  I choose 2 of my Eva's and 2 of the little red hen's eggs.  I would let her keep 2 of the 4 she had under her and maybe the adjustment will not be as much of shock for her.  With Mr. Bootsie close on my coat tail I made my way to the coop.  Put in the feeder and placed the 4 eggs in the nest.  Next it was time to go and get my girl.  Well, I was pleased she put up no fight, I was able to pick her up without any squawk or fuss.  She settle into my body as I carried her to her new home for 21 days.  I had picked up 2 eggs from her nest, they were placed in the nest for a total of 6 eggs, I set her on top of the eggs.  In the background I could hear someone saying, "Too easy."

Time for me to feed and get everyone to bed.  Things were going well, the goats had been out free ranging and they were ready to bed down after having their grain.  The girls were ready to come inside and decide where they would be roosting tonight.  The ducks were way down on the creek so I went to get them and direct them home.  After bringing in the ducks, it was time to count my girls and be sure all had come in.  Eleven and one in the brooder, well, at this time she was walking around the brooder having a discussion with the wire covering the brooder.  The brooder is covered with 1/2 inch hardware  cloth so black snakes can't get to her.  This is everything I can do to protect my girls while they are setting on eggs.

Thursday morning she had settled down some but later in the day, I found her setting in a nest she had made looking as happy and proud as her mom was when she was setting on eggs.  Thursday night when I went to feed she became chatty with me.  Now I do not talk chicken but I know she is pleased with herself.  Mr. Bootsie came in the coop and she chatted with him, as her food bowl was filled, she came over to see what we had bought her for supper.

My mind is telling me, we shall have a hatching of chickens. 3 weeks  from May 20 or there about.  My next obligation to this new family is a bag of chick-starter.  I will add this to my feed store list, so exciting to think about baby chicks and watch the Momma Hen raise her babies.