grandson helping wake up the chicks

grandson helping wake up the chicks

Sunday, February 17, 2013

And the verdict!

Following the time I spent getting the broody hens all settled, the hens decided they really weren't into the broody thing anymore. Julia and Joan Jett went back into the "big house" and Bette Davis stuck with it for a bit in the little house. Julia (our little cochin) really couldn't decide and she'd roost for a day and then move to another nesting box in the big house AGAIN.

Joan Jett went back to brood so I gave her some of the eggs the others decided to abandon as well as the ones she stuck with. And Bette Davis paced back and forth, back and forth in the little

house like she was going to lose her ever-loving mind being "cooped up" in there (no pun intended
 :)   So, I decided to let her out with the general population...and that seemed to be a good idea.

Now, we had wasted a couple of dozen eggs with the "broody" experiment and it didn't look like we'd be getting any chicks out of it. However, lo and behold, one morning I went to check on things and a little black chick bopped out from behind Joan Jett in the big house! WOW! What a shock! She actually was successful! I couldn't believe my eyes. As soon as I saw it, it ran back under its mama.

She was successful and had a chick! Joan Jett was a mom and very protective of her new offspring. I decided to relocate her (nesting box and all) to the little hen house that had since been abandoned by Bette Davis. She took to that very well and continued to roost on the 4 other eggs she had under her. Would she hatch another????

No such luck. I waited for an entire week and decided to remove the other eggs before the pending explosion of rotten eggs.  And, along with that idea, I decided that maybe we should give her a couple of other chicks to build her "clutch" and sneak out the bad ones.

I searched all over (it's not really chick season yet) and found a lady in town that had some chicks for sale. GREAT! How wonderful! I would go and get a pair of babies for Joan Jett and she would have three. Since they are straight run, getting a pair would give us a 50/50 chance for getting at least one hen...I hope!

We picked up two light colored chicks and I proudly snuck them under Joan Jett. She seemed to be thrilled with the new additions. However, the little yellow chick was very noisy. I checked on them that evening and the two little chicks were on the opposite side of the chicken house from Joan and her didn't look too promising but I didn't see any pending danger.
Joan Jett and baby chick + two new adoptees on the right.

Two young chicks before the attack of mama hen.

I was WRONG! I checked back a bit later and the yellow chick had been killed by Joan Jett and it wasn't pretty! So sad! Maybe there was something wrong with that little baby? The other chick seemed okay and was hiding up inside Joan's feathers. Ok, it looked like everything was okay for now.  And it was time for bed.

This morning, however, I went out  to check on things and the little light brown chick was laying on its side and breathing very labored. What had she done?! She obviously saw these chicks as some kind of threat and wanted to get rid of them.

So, in a rush, I took the little chick and made a makeshift house for her in our laundry room and hoped for the best. She did drink water and all I could do was go to work and wait.

When I came home, miraculously, the little chick was fluffed up and chirping! Incredible! I am so excited and now I can care for this little babe that its adoptive mom would not. But, it's alive and well and I've learned a lot from this experience....Rule #1 - DO NOT give a hen chicks from other hens!

Little Orphan Annie will be her name.
Now, Miss Little "Orphan Annie" is living in a box in my laundry room, safe and sound, albeit not the best environment for a growing chicken. She is alive, safe, and warm. We will try to move Joan Jett away from her baby soon and reintroduce this little chick in a few days.

Never a dull moment in chicken raising!

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chicken house1

chicken house1
Our masterpiece ready for the chickens