The farm house

The farm house

Sunday, May 12, 2013

Happy Broody Day!

On Thursday, we picked up our "meat" chicks. They are so small, fluffy and cute, you sometimes forget that they will be dinner some day. Fortunately for them, they have no personality whatsoever. Layers on the other hand, have plenty! My brooder was set up and awaiting 31 yellow fuzzy butts.While removing them from the box, I discovered that the little beggars could walk right through the bottom slats of the wire panel I had so diligently put into place. So, yell at husband who is getting a bag of layer ration for the "big" birds to "get some boards please, they are escaping!! I scooped them up, placed them back in.. repeatedly until the boards arrived. Housed next to them are the chicks that hatched in March who are a good deal bigger and seemingly terrified of the yellow escape artists

 Boards are put in place, chicks are eating and drinking and I am contented with that sight enough to continue with making supper. After we had eaten, I went to check on chicks as the weather had turned colder and I want to know that there is sufficient heat for them. sure enough, some had escaped again leaving the older chicks huddled in a corner, terrified of the little yellow marauders. The floor is apparently but not surprisingly uneven and the chicks scooted under the boards. So, rounded up some more wood and placed it all along the boards to reinforce any means of exit. They are only a day old!! They live for about 12 weeks and become so heavy that they barely can walk. I believe sometimes it is a kindness to dispatch them. After they grow all their feathers in, they will be put into the chicken tractor and eating grass, bugs, the life of a chicken.

Today is Mother's Day and I have a broody turkey hen. I decided to let her sit and sit on some eggs I had collected. So, I ventured into the pen, gently put the collected eggs on the straw. I was greeted with hissing noises from the hen. Kind of scary when you see how big their beaks are...! I used a stick to roll a few closer to her. A few were swallowed up right away under her belly.- A good sign. I guess she felt she'd had enough by then and left the nest. Poop! But wait, the older more experienced hen comes over, covers the eggs up with straw. Miss Broody hen is eating and drinking. I am doing things in the barn, pretending to take no notice of what's happening. Miss Broody having filled herself up then returns to the nest. Could it be that easy?? I figure, since they are a Heritage breed, let them do what they are supposed to do and encourage some hatching in the natural way...28 days from now, there may be peeping in there!

Totally unrelated, here is a photo of Ray, my best mouser.
 He is a huge and seems very lazy but very careful as to how he expends his energy. The most recent present he brought to the porch door was a rat! That'll do cat, that'll do.

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