Chicks for Char­lotte

Some new ar­rivals in Char­lotte’s flock

Your Chickens - - Charlotte's -

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

Char­lotte Popescu

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