Dot and Willow couldn’t be happier to be out and about with the flock. This is Mamma (Black Silkie) and Randi (Buff Silkie hen) tending to the kids while out for breakfast. The chicks are three weeks old today. Interesting, Randi is at the top of the pecking order and although bossy and sometimes nasty, she is very kind to the youngsters.
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.
Peaches & Rose, the oldest members in an existing flock of 18. Each bird wears a brightly colored I.D. leg band so I can keep track of age, breed, color, sex, and where they originated from. Otherwise, alike breeds of same color can often look the same.
Each hen’s broodiness is recorded as well, because unfortunately not all hens are good Moms. It’s important to know which hens will not only be be loyal to their clutch of fertile eggs, but which ones can also be trusted to care for the chicks when they hatch.
As an example, these two hens are both broody on a regular basis, only the one on the right will stay on her eggs until they hatch. The bird on the left perhaps has good intentions, but gets bored with the idea of being a Mom and sometimes abandons the nest after a week or so.
Knowing who’s who in an immediate situation means a quick and convenient solution. So I better get busy… today there are 10 more birds to add to the chart!
Ant Baits They work, but a chicken can peck a hole in them, and I’m not willing to test whether or not this a health hazard. The best answer when in doubt is to rely on common sense…. use what works, just be creative.
Using Ant Baits, Safely
Put an ant bait under under a heavy flower pot, or a ceramic saucer with a brick on top. I keep an ant bait under a flower pot with a drinker on top. It isn’t necessary to put ant baits by food and water, they are just as effective whether in or around the coop.
It’s possible an ant could drop a teeny tiny piece of pesticide on it’s way back to the colony, but I don’t think there’s a big concern there. But for that reason, I only put out baits when I have an ant problem, when they’re gone I throw them away. I’ve being using ant baits periodically for ten years with no problems. I’ve tried all the natural ant remedies, and in my opinion, they’re all a big fail.
Examples of Ant Bait Placement
Below is my Silkie hen setting on five eggs, this morning her nest was swarming with ants. It wasn’t worth the risk of her abandoning her eggs because she was bothered by ants. The temperature will be 109 degrees today, she’s hot and probably already uncomfortable. This is a perfect example of when to get out the big guns and tackle ants effectively and as safely as possible. Here’s what I did..
My large chicken pen also has an ant problem since the rain a few days ago. I secured an ant trap under a flower pot and none of the chickens are the least bit curious about it.