Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Chicken Update

We are at Day 15 in the incubation of 13 eggs under the broody hen. She has stuck with it this long and I really hope she'll hang in for another 6 days.

At this point in time, we have bought a pet cage and set it up in the coop with straw, readying it to transfer the hen and eggs into (at night for least resistance) so when the chicks begin to hatch, the other birds won't disturb her or try to kill them.

Now, full disclosure: I don't know if this plan is going to work. I think once the eggs begin to hatch, it's pretty much over in 36 hours Whatever comes in that time span is all that will as the hen loses interest in sitting.

Or I can remove the chicks altogether as they dry and let her finish with the others.

So I am not certain what will happen or the direction I will take. I do know I don't have enough room in the coop to leave her in this cage along with the babies and I have nowhere else to house the entire brood with Mama. So I think I will remove the entire box to the garage til the hatching is over and then separate her from them and take the brooder inside the house so I can really keep a close eye on the babies and get them accustomed to me.

I raised the 3 Orpingtons this way a year ago but I had purchased them from the feed store at about 7 days old. So this fresh-start beginning is very new to me.

With 5 cats in the house and many more from the surrounding neighborhood lurking around, I really don't want to leave them unattended for an hour.

"Lots of things can happen to little girls...." ~david sedaris

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