Broody No More

Jul 7, 2010 | 4 comments

Five Fresh Eggs!

       Our mama hen is back to ‘normal.’ I know this because she has re-joined her four sister-hens and yesterday we got five eggs – proof positive that her brooding time is over.  I’d like to say that she is still attentive to her two chicks, but I really can’t see that she is.  She leaves them to their own devices while she scratches in the garden with the rest of the ‘girls.’
       The chicks will be five weeks old tomorrow.  They have all their wing feathers now; their tail feathers are coming right along; and they are getting rather leggy.  Positively adolescent looking!  However, they are still peep-peep-peeping.  Their voices haven’t yet changed to clucking and squawking or, God forbid, to crowing. 
        I’m watching carefully for signs that they may turn out to be roosters.  I’ve read that if the wing feathers are rounded, they are girl chicks but if they are pointed, beware!  I’m pretty sure they are rounded.  Or is that wishful thinking?
     Not that I dislike roosters.  When full-grown they are big and beautiful and keep their ‘girls’ in line.  But they can be mean and are sometimes hard on certain hens.  We really don’t need fertile eggs – we can get those from our neighbor whose flock is much larger and includes multiple roosters.  We intend to keep our coop a henhouse in the strictest sense of the word.
     We opened the brooder pen a few days ago and let mama and chicks co-mingle with the rest of the flock, keeping, an eye out to see that all was well.  At first mama hen positioned herself to run interference for them but soon it became apparent that the chicks were being accepted by all their aunties.  No one picks on them or gives them much notice, so mama has pretty much abandoned them to their fate.  They keep to themselves much of the time but when their voices change, I expect that they will integrate more fully.  And sometime next spring we’ll be getting seven eggs on a good day!

4 Comments

  1. Stephanie Frieze

    How cool. If you ever decide to sell eggs, let me know. It might be a long drive for eggs, but hey, it’s a pretty one and we can always hit Green Garden, Jack’s, and Oakie’s, making a day of it!

    Reply
  2. Paul R. Brent

    Great to know that farming is on the rise at Oysterville

    Reply
  3. Randall Platt

    Sydney – caught the article about the bears in our Tacoma paper! I remember, back in the 50ies, my grandfather heading ‘east’ on the peninsula to hunt bear. He never went with anyone older than 60 because they might slow him down. (He was in his 70ies!)

    Reply
  4. Nancy

    Sydney: One of my recent O’Ville photos shows a chickie peeking out from mama’s wing…I love it!

    Reply

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