Last year when we bought chicks with Lindsay and Joseph, she was hoping to get at least one rooster, so she could try to hatch some of our own chicks.
Well, we got two roosters, one is more dominate, and about four weeks ago we realized a few hens were broody and the rest is history.
Lindsay started kindling the eggs a few weeks ago and as of today we have 4 chicks!
Now the problem we encountered was two-fold.
1. When the first chick hatched at least one of the other hens was a bit too interested in the chick and kept trying to peck it. Momma did a good job looking after it, but we were concerned.
2. Before bed that night we had another chick hatching! Exciting, but in the morning Momma hen and the chick that hatched the day before were no longer on the nest and were hanging out in the barn, even though the other chick had hatched out!
We tried putting her back on the nest, but she wasn't interested and she began to peck at it. We tried introducing the new chick to the other broody hen, but she wasn't interested either. So what to do?
Our solution was to put both chicks into the brooder. This was fine but the first chick had become very attached to Momma hen, and was stressing. My idea was to put Momma hen in the brooder with both chicks and keep an eye on them for a while, to make sure she wouldn't hurt the second chick. Everyone calmed down and Momma settled in fine with both chicks.
That was a relief, but what to do about the eggs that Momma had been sitting on? We decided to put the second broody hen and her few eggs over in the other nest and she settled in to sit on all of them!
Another day, another chick! This time we took it when we found it, and put it under Momma hen in the brooder and she accepted it right away.
New and still wet!
The first three are Speckled Sussex crosses with Partridge Cochin, and the fourth is a Maran cross. So cute!
We'll see if the other few eggs hatch out. Lindsay is excited that this has gone so well, and I'm praying they are all hens and not roosters!