Sunday, August 19, 2012

Nature Versus Nurture

What a happy, happy morning. ♪ Happy Dance ♪ worthy!

I was in the midst of finishing making some of my Greek Bruschetta for a gathering this afternoon when Sean came back into the house from caring for the morning chores. He asked me to come outside with him for a minute. I followed him outside.

We walked to the main coop area and Sean lifted the nest box cover to reveal broody Barred Rock Hen and 6 new fluffy day old chicks; 3 striped chicks, 2 black chicks, and one black chick with a white spot on its head. (According to the breeds we had mixing at the time these were set, the black one with the spot could either be a Barred Rock of either sex or a cockerel Sex-Link chick.)

I cannot express how much joy this discovery brought me. Of course, we have been waiting to see what would happen with the eggs hatching naturally in the main coop by our broody hens, but we were not getting our hopes up to any of them hatching successfully. She hatched 6 out of 10 eggs. And, when we candled the other eggs, 2 of the 5 others were developing and appeared to be alive- I would guess that they are at approximately day 11 of development. We placed them into the incubator inside. It is unlikely that broody Barred Rock would continue to sit until these hatch and even if she would, it is probably not the best for her to do so. Broody hens usually remain on their nests for most of their day, eating and drinking very little while they are sitting on eggs. Another 10 or more days of that would be an unnecessary hardship to her physically.

We gathered up the chicks from their nest and placed them inside our brooder area inside our living room. We made this decision to avoid the chicks from falling out and landing on the floor 3 feet below. Not only could the fall injure them, but it would be impossible for the chicks to get back into their nest. Also, chickens are carnivores. It would be terrible if one of the adults injured the chicks somehow. I felt bad for Momma hen, effectively losing all her chicks, but when we checked her this afternoon, she had taken the place of Broody Wyandotte sitting on her nest of 10 eggs. Broody Wyandotte spent the day in the main yard enjoying a dirt bath in the sun and the company of the other hens.

With these babies hatching, that brings our total new chicks hatched this year to total 33. Of these, 32 lived. 6 were sold and the other 26 were added to our flock. We are hopeful that many of these will be hens and not roosters. Our intention was to add more hens to increase the amount of eggs we have available to sell to Customers next season. I think we are well on our way. ♥

As I write, the chicks have settled in for the night. I love how soft and sweet they are. Thanks for stopping in for a visit!

Sonja ♥


  1. Wohoo! Babies!! I especially like the brown one and the black one with the white on it's head. It reminds me of Asher with his white spot, looks like they have been playing in a paint bucket.

  2. Awwww how exciting! They are all so cute! I love the black ones. Hopefully they are all girls. Congratulations :)

  3. Sounds like a good day on the farm! cherie