Thursday, February 24, 2011
Four Healthy Babies!
The final tally is four chicks! I am completely okay with this. (and if I wasn't?). Mamma hen moved off her nest yesterday morning and moved the 4 babies close to the food and water. After she had been off the eggs over two hours I knew she had abandoned them because for whatever reason they were not going to hatch. I removed the eggs and cracked them open because I wanted to see what was going on inside. The first one I cracked was just runny yoke - that must have been the egg I candled and I was very unsure about but left it in there just in case! The other two were developed chicks (no they were not alive) but for some reason didn't hatch. That's a bummer but I'm sure there was a reason for them not hatching. So, out of the original 8 eggs I put under her, I got four babies! Two were not fertile and two didn't hatch. I'm happy with the little flock!
Mamma hen is a great mother. I watched her for the longest time yesterday as she fluffed up big and held her wings slightly out so the babies would have a little tunnel to run under for warmth. They would come out, walk around a little, drink or eat and then dart back under her when they wanted to get warm or rest. When I got home from work, she had taken them all back to the nest where she was laying. They are a beautiful orange-red and it's going to be so exciting to watch them grow! I hope they are all hens, ha ha!
I am feeding them organic chick starter that is non medicated. I don't believe in medicating my animals unless absolutely necessary. I think natural exposure and building up resistance to coccidiosis for the chicks is a better way to go and I've read when they grow up with mom they should build up a good resistance. I also put a small amount of organic unfiltered, unpasteurized apple cider vinegar in their water for a little immune system boost. I hope they all grow up healthy!
That's all for now - just a little chicken update! Hope everyone is having a good week.