Must be the honeysuckle perfumed spring air or the laughing breezes with their swirls of laurel blossoms… whatever the reason, our hens are in the family way.
The walk to the coop is much more pleasant these days. Star jasmine blooms on the gate to the backyard and the chickens come running in hopes that you are carrying kitchen scraps. Inside the coop, Angelina snuggles close to her eggs in the biggest nest — the maternity suite.
House seems to be walking a little taller these days. Does he or does he not have the greatest job description ever (hang out with hot chicks and make more chicks)? What guy wouldn’t be walking tall?
I think we are all excited at the thought of chicks hatching out. Angelina has tried to sit on eggs in the past but always got up from them too soon. Perhaps she just grew tired of sitting around all the time. We’re trying not get our hopes up that she’ll see them through. We’re also not talking about it with the kids because there’s a very good chance that the children will be gone before the chicks hatch. When the kids leave, I think that Josh and I will need the distraction and excitement of new life. The timing could not be better.
Because I’m new at this part of chicken husbandry, I consulted the experts at Backyard Chickens for information. Here are the highlights:
- It takes 21 days for the eggs to hatch (this is the same whether they are in an incubator or being warmed by a chicken tush).
- Broodiness is a “condition” that many breeders have tried to eliminate over the years because broodiness reduces egg production.
- A mother hen needs to be kept away from other hens who may become jealous of her chicks.
- Have food and water available to the broody hen at all times.
Have any other questions? Check out Tips for Incubating and Raising Chicks with a Mother Hen. I will keep you posted on her progress. We’re hopeful that it works out. Any advice would be welcomed!
Now, for the giveaway!
One lucky commenter will receive a copy of Successful Small-Scale Farming: An Organic Approach which you will totally love and read cover-to-cover feeling wildly inspired to plow up your backyard.
Your comment is you entry. One comment per person please (families may comment individually). Winner to be announced on Monday. Anyone on any continent may enter. All you have to do is answer this question:
What’s the best/worst job you’ve ever had?