Last Saturday I was the proud mum (all over again) of three new little chicks. They are the first trial of breeding chicks with Berk our rooster. I was planning on breeding the English Sussex for both egg production and meat. So all roosters will get the cull unless they are super pretty and someone really wants them as pets. I think the Sussex’s are real lovely bird and plus they are big enough the hawks have not been hanging around as much as normal. Which is a real relief and now with Berk I have noticed he is super protective of his harem.
The arrival of the chicks meant it was time to move the clucky hen with eggs and chicks to a new spot so they have enough room to move around feed. With a little help from some folk down the road we moved mumma hen to the smaller pen which had a box inside to aid as a nesting box so she felt cosy while she was still sitting on eggs.
On the sunday we had a total of four chicks by the afternoon. However on Tuesday we had a mystery day, as I knew how many eggs she was sitting on. There was one missing along with one chick??? What the??? I looked for the little chick the best I could with a newborn attached to me, no luck, no remnants – nothing.
Then on Wednesday morning we had 2 more eggs reappear under mumma hen, so strange. she must of hid a few in the back under the straw. Strange. Then Thursday all things were good at 2pm then by 4 pm there were two eggs out from under her around the pen and the other three still in the laying box. Plus another little chick was missing. So we are down to two. I can’t see how anything can get into the cage, unless the main door is still a little wide for new chicks and they squeeze through and the crows take them? We have a family of crows who live in the trees above the chook house, they eat the food. I find them annoying but they do chase of hawks too and warn the chooks if there is a hawk about.
Will have to keep you posted of how things progress, for now I have put some more mesh over the door in case that is where the chicks are escaping or being nabbed by larger meaner birds. I am really happy though that we have produced offspring, so in two weeks I will put some more eggs under mumma hen and try again. This time I will also mark her with a foot bracelet so I know its her from now on as she did such a good job of sitting on the eggs.
We had another clucky hen who is a bit daft, she didn’t go back and sit on her eggs, she would just rotate around the laying boxes. Silly bird. During the day she would get off and leave them for hours while she ate and scratched around. Mumma Hen obviously got off her eggs during the day to eat and drink but she went straight back. None of this I am going to get off and might come back a couple of hours later and let the eggs go cold. With Roy back next week I plan on moving the not so great chook off the eggs she is pretending to sit on and get her off the ground and make her unclucky.