Friday, April 26, 2013

Hawt Damn, I gotta broody, Norman has an under bite, They're starting to look like chickens

I've really really really really been wanting to get my own chickens to hatch out some eggs. I was So over the moon excited last year when the Traveling Chicken went broody and we found her sitting on a while mess of eggs. Every day I took a peek under her fluffy bottom. When she got off the next in the evenings I looked at the eggs. I tried candling them but I wasn't sure what I was looking for. Day 22 and I think I checked out there 15 times a day. I let them go to 30 days just to make sure before I kicked her off the nest and cracked one open. Scrambled eggs. Runny looking mess. No baby chickies. What a let down bummer.

I've been reading everything I could find about enticing a chicken to go broody. I can find a hundred and one ways to make them Not be broody. If your laying hen is sitting on eggs, she isn't laying any more.  In only one place did I find someone mention leaving eggs in the box till there are at least 11 before the hens will set them.

I found a clutch of 6 under the tarp over Dave's hay. No idea how long they had been there. They'd been frozen at night and thawed back out. There was  no way I was bringing them in to the fridge. I had a much better idea in mind. I've been pulling the eggs once a day, but just leaving them on the counter, waiting and hoping... After a week into the fridge they went. Scott raided a few for breakfast, and still no one setting.

Every morning I count chickens. 1, 2, 3, 4... Bummer. In the evening when I let them out to roam while I feed I count them. 1, 2, 3, 4... Look randomly out my bedroom window. 1, 2, 3, 4... Sigh. One of the girls at work sent home some plastic eggs. Finally I had 11 out there. Three days ago... 1, 2, 3, 4... Wed on and off all day 1, 2, 3, 4, ... 1, 2, 3, 4... Wed evening 1, 2, 3.... Wait, three? 1, 2, 3.. Yup. Three. I didn't get excited yet, no matter how much I wanted to. She could just be taking a while. Sometimes I think they take a nap after all that clucking and talking about how they just laid an egg.

I was off yesterday, and threw open the curtains when I got up, to count. PleasePleasePlease... 1, 2, 3, 4. Damn. Double Damn. Four chickens and a rooster pacing and yelling to hurry up with the scratch already. Well Poo. So much for that idea. I was so disappointed  I never even checked for eggs yesterday. I opened the door and let them all out to free range yesterday since I was home. I watched them walk across the driveway later out to the trees, and automatically counted. Hey, there is only three. All day I watched and waited to see a fourth. Nope. I felt a little excited. Just a little. Last night when I went to feed I called them back to the coop. Just three. I peeked in under the lid of the nest box, and there she was. Still flattened like she was when I was hoping the day before.

Just to be sure, I decided to give it all today. If she was still in there when I got home this evening, I'd move the eggs I had on the counter under her and take out the plastic ones. I was down to five eggs after the breakfast raid, and the ones that were over a week old. (In Scott's defense I never mentioned to him why I was holding eggs on the counter in a bowl.) She was still in there!!!!!    Yay HappyDance! I just got back in from feeding and I swapped out the plastics for the ones on the counter, and between yesterday and today I had 5 more eggs in a box on the other side. She's got 10 eggs under her. I'll start counting tomorrow as day one.

Norman has got one heck of an under bite from this angle. 

The little chickies are starting to look like chickens. They're just over a week to two weeks old now. I love the eye liner on this little one. I hope it keeps it, and that it's a pullet, so I can keep it. 

Most of them have their wings feathered out and little tail feathers starting to make an appearance. When I take the lid off the tun they think they're gonna fly right out, hopping and flapping their wings. It's not going to tall enough or big enough for them really fast. 

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