Peep, peep, peep

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ElizaQ ElizaQ's picture
Peep, peep, peep

 

 So that's the sound the greeted me when I went to close the door of the chicken coop tonight.  

 What? No it can't be..... 

  One of my chickens actually hatched some chicks!  

  I've had hens sit on eggs many times before but it has never gone anywhere, they usually just give up or nothing happens I'm assuming because they weren't fertilized or something.  

 So I guess in this case, mama and rooster dude got it on and she persevered and now there are babies.  At least four and maybe a couple more.  It was hard to tell in the dark with only a flashlight. 

  Now I did raise the chickens I have from chicks but have no experience with a hen actually having chicks herself.  So on one hand got really excited and on the other I paniced a bit because I'm totally unprepared.  Of course I had to discover it and 11:30 at night so beyond getting a tray of water down beside mama hen and a bit of food there isn't much I can easily do until daylight.  Here's hoping they survive the night and the next couple of days. 

 

  So beyond just passing on the news about my surprise of the day I'm wondering if there are any babblers out there who have any experience with hens raising chicks.   Any advice or wisdom gleaned from experience would be much appreciated.  

writer writer's picture

So exciting, ElizaQ! I have no experience, but hope they all get some yummy flax seed. Tell them it comes with best wishes from aunty writer!

ElizaQ ElizaQ's picture

:D  They're barred plymouth rocks and according to what I've read they make good mothers.  I'm probably worrying too much because the chicken probably know better then I do.   I guess it's just like with anything new and different I'm just not certain about what is normal and what isn't.    I guess one of my biggest concern is the rooster I've read stories about roosters and sometimes other chickens going after chicks so they should be separated but then I've read other stories and advice that it's not something to worry about.   

 

Writer,  I will!  First thing tomorrow I'll be heading to the feed store to get some chicky food.    

writer writer's picture

Not that it's the same thing, but earlier in the summer, my cat discovered a grouse or pheasant sitting in a nest she'd made in lillies beside my shack. The bird flew off, pretending to be injured. Cat followed, oblivious to the 8 eggs.

Cat became closely watched that weekend, and barred from the shack until further notice. The next time I was here, momma was on the eggs one day; the next, empty nest, broken eggs, and cat could come back.

Pogo Pogo's picture

Don't put egg gathering on your resume.  What kind of chickens?  They should be fine.

Growing up we lived on two acres with a chicken coop, 20 hens and a rooster.  My Dad would experiment with different hatching strategies, sometimes hatching under a light and other times using laying hens.

He found that Banty hens were the best mothers.  One time he put duck eggs under a hen, and a little while later out popped three ducks.  It was fun watching them run around the yard only to get a whiff of cold and dive under the mother hen (who was barely bigger than them within a week).  One day they discovered the pond/creek next door and raced for the water.  Of course the mother hen was beside herself on the shore.  The ducks grew up and developed an appetite for slugs which we very much appreciated.  The plan was to eat them for the holidays as my dad found turkey far to dry.  Unfortunately, my dad couldn't do the deed and the ducks were given away to someone more capable of swinging the axe.

 

Catchfire Catchfire's picture

Wow, that's so exciting, ElizaQ! Here's to their long and happy health (and future prolifigacy in the laying department)!

Pogo Pogo's picture

I would be concerned about the rooster.  They don't call it a pecking order for no reason. 

Maysie Maysie's picture

Eliza, congrats!

I so need to see some pics of the cute little chickies. 

 

ElizaQ ElizaQ's picture

Pogo wrote:

I would be concerned about the rooster.  They don't call it a pecking order for no reason. 

 

 Yes thanks.  I'm going to make them some separate quarters today to be safe.  I just came in from opening the coop up and there's still lots of peeping.  Rooster is out in the yard now doing his morning crowing rounds with his hen entourage so they're out of the way for now.  At least I'll have some time to have coffee and breakie to get my brain in order.  :) 

Catchfire:  Yes and here's hoping that they're they're mostly females.  With this breed your supposed to be able to get a good idea of the sex even at day old age so I'll be trying to figure it out today.  Even professional chicken sexers only get it right 90-95 percent of the time though so it will be at least a few more weeks before it becomes much more obvious to lay person like me.   With some breeds it takes even longer then that to be sure.   When I got the original chickens I asked for 2 roosters I ended up with 4 altogether.  The cool thing is that I was planning to get a few more young chickens from a neighbor in September anyways because these ones are approaching the two year mark and while they're still laying well as they get older it laying declines. 

Maysie:   I already got the camera out of the desk in preparation!   I'll try to post some pics soon. 

skdadl

Wonderful news, Eliza.

Rooster dude sounds as though he's clever at giving you the slip, so he might bear watching.

ElizaQ ElizaQ's picture

skdadl wrote:

Wonderful news, Eliza.

Rooster dude sounds as though he's clever at giving you the slip, so he might bear watching.

 I shut the door after I shooed them out so unless he's gotten clever enough to use a door knob it will be safe for while.  :D 

writer writer's picture

What? The peepy pictures aren't up yet?! ElizaQ, this is cruel.

remind remind's picture

Baby chickies, great stuff.....congrats.

Are your chickens free range?  There is nothing cuter  than the mothers teaching the babies how to find and eat ants and bugs. But I would not let them out before 2 weeks,

Make sure the water feeder is very shallow as they can and do drown. The upside down container with a shallow tray, gravity fill types are the best for chicks, definitely not the shallow black tray type of water feeder. The longer shallow metal trays with individual holes, type of feeders are the best to feed them. Then they are not climbing in and kicking the seed everywhere.ants and other

ElizaQ ElizaQ's picture

remind wrote:

Baby chickies, great stuff.....congrats.

Are your chickens free range?  There is nothing cuter  than the mothers teaching the babies how to find and eat ants and bugs. But I would not let them out before 2 weeks,

Make sure the water feeder is very shallow as they can and do drown. The upside down container with a shallow tray, gravity fill types are the best for chicks, definitely not the shallow black tray type of water feeder. The longer shallow metal trays with individual holes, type of feeders are the best to feed them. Then they are not climbing in and kicking the seed everywhere.ants and other

 

 Yes they're free range though more restricted then usual because of critters right now.   I've built a makeshift barrier around them for now until I get the other space done.  I've got a fenced run that I haven't been using so decided that they're all going to go in there so they will be able to range a bit but not be bothered by the other chickens.  It's totally overgrown with 4 ft weeds so I'll be doing a lot of chopping and clearing today.  Also need to build a basic chicken house box for them to shelter in.  Doesn't have to be fancy so it shouldn't take too long.   

 I still have the gravity water feeder and the hole food feeder from when I raised the mum so got those dug out of the cupboard this morning so they're all set.  They're were already bopping around this morning and showing good energy so that's good.  I moved mama to see what was happening underneath and woosh several more chicks raced out, so the four or five I thought there were last night are now eight!  Two eggs are left not hatched.  Talked to someone this morning and they suggested leaving them for a couple more days.  I guess with chickens that lay and hatch themselves sometimes they don't hatch all at once because they aren't laid at the same time.  So there could be a couple more.  Regardless getting 8 out of clutch of 10 is pretty good.  

I have another hen that's been sitting though not as long as this one.  Maybe a week and bit less so there's a possibility of even more.  Will have to check and see how many eggs she's sitting on to get and idea of what might be in store in another week or so.

 

Sorry no pictures yet, camera was out of batteries.  I'm going to try my cell phone though once it's charged up.  :)  

Maysie Maysie's picture

ElizaQ wrote:
 I moved mama to see what was happening underneath and woosh several more chicks raced out, so the four or five I thought there were last night are now eight!

Eliza, if you don't put some pics up soon I might have to ban you. This is entrapment!

remind remind's picture

awesome elizaq, yes seeing as how they lay  1 egg everyday the last 2 eggs may well be the last 2 laid. The warm weather you are getting back there helps, a lot too to incubate.

Nothing like raising your own chickies. I am so jealous..... :D

 

j.m.

I have only raised chicks with family a couple of times, and we failed the remind technique (they all lived, fortunately).

Please take photos! And Pio Pio Pio Pio to your chickies!

:D

Maysie Maysie's picture

Don't make me post the chicken dance. Just don't.

Damn.

The link is NSFAWDWTSWPLRRRRS*

 

 

*Not Safe For Anyone Who Doesn't Want To See White People Looking Really Really Really Really Stupid.

al-Qa'bong

We had a few Barred Rock hens who raised their own chicks. 

I'd advise you to not let them run around on their own yet.  While it's cute to see the little guys following the hen around the yard, after a couple of weeks there aren't any chicks left.  Some get lost in tall grass, or fall into holes, never mind being attacked by other critters.

ElizaQ ElizaQ's picture

Here's a pic.   It's not very good. The light wasn't great for taking pictures and they wouldn't stop moving. :) 

 

j.m.

Maysie wrote:

Don't make me post the chicken dance. Just don't.

Damn.

The link is NSFAWDWTSWPLRRRRS*

 

 

*Not Safe For Anyone Who Doesn't Want To See White People Looking Really Really Really Really Stupid.

 

That was painful and their clapping was off half the time!

skdadl

Very high AWWWW factor, Eliza.

 

writer writer's picture

Whew! Now I'll be able to sleep. Very cute!

Maysie Maysie's picture

OMG Eliza!!!!

(picture Maysie making high-pitched squeaking noises)

So very cute! And fuzzy! Thanks!

ElizaQ ElizaQ's picture

Maysie wrote:

OMG Eliza!!!!

(picture Maysie making high-pitched squeaking noises)

So very cute! And fuzzy! Thanks!

 

:D    I won't be banned now right?  ;) 

Catchfire Catchfire's picture

Eeee! More please!

ElizaQ ElizaQ's picture

Here's a pic from today.  Chicks are doing fine.  Mama hen is teaching them how to scratch which is great but also quite annoying.  She dumps out the feed dish and buries it.  LOL   It looks like there's 4 or 5 roosters and 4 or 5 hens.  So...anyone want a rooster?  :D  

[URL=[/URL]">http://img710.imageshack.us/i/1003301p.jpg/][IMG]http://img710.imageshac...

 

Here's three new additions that arrived yesterday. 

[URL=[/URL]">http://img517.imageshack.us/i/1003303p.jpg/][IMG]http://img517.imageshac...

 

They're Indian Runner Ducks. If you haven't see these in action google them for youtube clips.  They're hilarious to watch.   I took them from someone who is moving and needed a home for them.   These are going to be more like pets so they need names!  The one in the front is male and the other two females.  

I'm really bad at naming things so I figure it's time for the First Annual Babble Duck Naming contest!  

So....anyone have any suggestions?   :D  

Here's another pic where they're in their more typical upright position. The male has the darker head. [URL=[/URL]">http://img185.imageshack.us/i/1003306h.jpg/][IMG]http://img185.imageshac...

 

 

 

Maysie Maysie's picture

Eliza!!! Those chicks!! For the love of cutesy things everywhere, I thank you. What's with the white feathers on tops of all their heads? Are you TRYING to make me pass out from cuteness?

I'm checking into keeping a rooster in an apartment in downtown Toronto. Something tells me I'd have to break some sort of law. At this point I don't care. I'll take them all! 

ElizaQ ElizaQ's picture

Maysie wrote:

Eliza!!! Those chicks!! For the love of cutesy things everywhere, I thank you. What's with the white feathers on tops of all their heads? Are you TRYING to make me pass out from cuteness?

 Hee hee.  Yes that little bit of white makes some of them look like they have little beanie caps.  The shape of the white spot is one of the ways that you can tell which are likely roosters and which are hens.  That combined with a black wash on the front of their legs.  With some chickens you can tell or get a pretty good idea right away and with many others you have to wait. There's some breeds that take weeks before you can tell. 

Quote:

I'm checking into keeping a rooster in an apartment in downtown Toronto. Something tells me I'd have to break some sort of law. At this point I don't care. I'll take them all! 

Wahoo!   Just tell you're neighbors that the crowing is an alarm clock.  ;) 

polly bee

Gerry for the male duck.  Or for the female.  I just think its a good duck name :)

writer writer's picture

ElizaQ, I love this thread!

Ducks:
Quick, Quack, Quill
Rosa, Emma, Diego
Florence, Mabel, Ned

polly bee

Emma, Kate, and Gus.

skdadl

Gus is a most excellent name. (Short for Magnus, a name legendary in story and song in both Scots and Viking berserker.)

ElizaQ ElizaQ's picture

 

  Great ideas!    I really like Gus.  He seems like a Gus.  Right now it's hard to see any personality because they're still quite wary of me and their new surroundings.  Nice thing is that they naturally are going into their little house when it gets dark which saves me from having to wrangle every evening.  I haven't had ducks before and read that some ducks do this and some don't so I was really happy on the first evening.  It's a lot easier when all I have to do is shut the door.   

After posting this I talked with my sister and I'm giving one of the females to my nephew so he is going to choose and name one of them.  Should be interesting to see what he comes up with.   He thought I should name my Shepherd, 'Strawberry' when I first got him and thought all the chickens should be named after vegetables. :D  

I'll  choose once I get word on what he chooses.   

Maysie Maysie's picture

ElizaQ wrote:
    Just tell you're neighbors that the crowing is an alarm clock.  

Hey, just because we live in the city doesn't mean we can't tell the difference.  Tongue out  And I believe roosters crow all day long, whenever the hell they feel like it. That should make me popular in my co-op, and in a five-block radius.

And I just noticed all the pics are gone! Why, oh why has this happened? Cry

Have you noticed that cute farm animals bring out the dramatic in me?

P.S. The idea of a chicken named "Carrot" or "Broccoli" is making me giggle like a schoolgirl.

Edited to add: the pics are back. My computer must have done a hiccup. All is right with this thread. Phew.

skdadl

There's also Gus-Gus, the fat mouse in the Disney version of Cinderelly. I know, I know, Disney very bad, Cinderelly meme very bad, but Gus-Gus is cute.

You can call me Flower if you really want to.

al-Qa'bong

skdadl wrote:

Gus is a most excellent name. (Short for Magnus, a name legendary in story and song in both Scots and Viking berserker.)

Gus is also short for August and Augustus.

We once named one of our roosters Engro.  He was a randy little Leghorn who was always chasing the hens.

What's the fate of these currently-cute chicks; pets, layers, fryers, or roasters?