Yesterday was hatch day. My usual redundant morning chores were certainly more exciting to say the least when I was greeted by newly hatched fuzzy butts. This was a first time hatching eggs for Peaches, a four year old Silkie hen. She’s very proud and protective of her babies, nevertheless, I’m keeping a close watch on her inexperienced mothering. The brooder is set up and ready to go if needed.
This was a trial run for Peaches, the fertile eggs I placed under her were a barnyard mix. What I know for sure is the eggs are from a Leghorn and an Ameraucana. But the rooster? That will remain a mystery.
It will be nice change to have birds other than Silkies and Cochins in my barn, these little hatch-a-longs will remain here as permanent members of the flock. Mamma and chicks will be moved to the barn with the others, confined to a corner in full view of the flock at 2-3 weeks old.
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Below is one of two coops that has been predator proofed, I’m confident there’s no chance of any predator ever getting inside. My once not so handy husband is turning into quite a hand! He’s not much into the chickens, but he was pretty upset about the coyote attack and this is what he did for our feathered family members. Coop is now raised 21″ high, and and has a solid wood floor. I dare even a tiny sparrow to find entry!
This coop is where chicks go after they leave the brooder, they’ll stay here until they’re ready to join the flock at about four months old.
Piper and Cookie, a Standard Cochin and Buff Silkie are the only youngsters who survived the predator ordeal three weeks ago. They are from my Fall 2015 chicks, and although integrated into the existing flock, still stick together as best pals. So happy they still have each other. They’re inseparable, they even lay their eggs together!
I’ve said in the past to keep flock members that are all about the same size to minimize bullying… but I’m kinda sorta changing my mind about that. Piper is close to seven pounds and Cookie is barely a pound, no problems with the other lightweights in the flock either. However, let’s just say it’s always a good idea to keep in mind that sometimes size does matter in the chicken world.
Meet Piper, just hangin’ out lookin’ pretty this morning. She looks huge to me, I’m used having only Silkies! Piper was one of a few chicks I bought at a week old to help keep some babies warm in the brooder. I sold all her sisters when the Silkie chicks were 8 weeks old, but somehow the mighty giant Piper managed to steal my heart. She will remain here, her kind way and timid behavior allows her to fit right in with the docile manner of the other birds.