Introducing our 14 new baby chicks that just hatched last week!
We discovered the two hens sitting on 32 eggs in our laying boxes. So we moved them with 10 eggs each to a better place where they could brood without disturbing the rhythm of the rest of our hens. We set them up with food and water in their own large separate cages, inside a well insulated and protected shed. After 21 days of patiently sitting on their eggs, both of our broody hens had 7 baby chicks each.
We were privileged with the experience of watching one of the chicks hatch out of its shell. It stumbled along but the mother hen just left it alone as it found its way into the world. The kids were in awe as they witnessed this tiny miracle
If you have ever bought pullets in the spring and raised your own chicks using a brooder, then you know how much work it it just to keep the chicks warm, safe and fed. When you let a broody hen sit on her eggs, once they hatch she does most of the work. We make sure the chicks have a high protein crumble food and access to water at all times. But the mama keeps them warm and protected, even from us sometimes.
Most people who raise chickens get rid of broody hens or kick them off their eggs. We get excited when we dicover a broody hen, then help them get set up, and stand back and watch nature run its course. Of course, don’t forget you need a rooster and fertile eggs to actually get chicks in the end. 😉