The Chicks Are Here!
June 06, 2012
Last week, I did my blog on my broody hens. I was expecting them to start hatching this past weekend, and they did! Right on schedule. I could see four on Saturday, and one more hatched on Sunday. So far, I have seven little peepers. Six of the chicks have followed two of the hens (they share the chicks) out of the coop, but one is still in the nest box with the last broody hen.
Last night, the six chicks that have left the coop could not figure out how to follow the hens back up the ramp. The two hens would take turns going up the ramp and in, clucking all the while, but the chicks just couldn't figure it out. The peeping became very loud and distressed sounding. The hens would stand at the top of the ramp, clucking at them, but it just wasn't working. After several tries, one of the hens came back down the ramp and called them to her. She then began to tuck them under her here and there. This was too cute, sometimes all I could see was a little head peeping out from under the hen. She then must have decided that if they couldn't make into the coop, she would have to stay outside with them. The Motherly Instinct is Strong! I ended up putting a wooden crate on its side under the coop with some straw, and she eventually led the chicks to this temporary shelter for the night. They were still there this morning when I checked on them. I was worried about them being out all night, but I'm trying to let them do what Nature intends.
If you would like to read more on this subject, or maybe you're thinking about getting chickens, MCPL has a lot of books on this subject.
Grain Valley Branch