Chicks for Charlotte
Some new arrivals in Charlotte’s flock
Florrie had her and my first chicks of the season, hatched in early May. She is an experienced mum so sat very well and five out of her seven eggs hatched. One of the chicks arrived two days early, which was unusual, so poor Florrie had to sit for two days very patiently while the others hatched out - but all are strong and healthy. They are cross breeds so it will be interesting to see how they turn out and work out which cockerel was the influential one!
Another hen, Sadie, a tried and tested mum, also went broody. I put some eggs under her but, because she was sitting in a communal nest, I moved her to her own private nest in a separate hutch and run. I did this in the evening and she seemed to be sitting reasonably well to start with. However, after almost a week she became restless and, when I let her out of the run, she just abandoned her nest. I had a new hen, Lily, who was also broody, so I transferred the eggs to her. She was in a communal nest but I didn’t dare move her as she was a totally new potential mum. The next two weeks were a bit of a nightmare because other hens kept muscling in and laying eggs in her nest. I had marked the incubating eggs with a pencil so I was able to take out any freshly laid eggs. To my amazement (after such a precarious incubation period) two days before the due date, chicks were cheeping in the shells. At this point I did move Lily to her own hutch and run and over the next two days four chicks slowly hatched. Not sure why they didn’t all hatch on the same day but I was just grateful that anything hatched at all. Four very pretty and differently coloured chicks are now being looked after very assiduously by new mum Lily.
ABOVE: Florrie and chicks, just hatched RIGHT: Lily with chicks