Boy did I get Lucky!

11 Jul

I “was” a little frustrated with Georgia as she sat on her little brood of eggs, thinking about the 13 day old buff chicks that were scheduled to come in the mail a good 5 days before her eggs hatched.  Multiple pens, with multiple animals means multiple work, which is not exactly something I have time for.

Luckily I got Georgia moved to one of our two brooder pens before the new babies arrived(both sets).  She was NOT a happy camper and bolted out the door on day 2 of confinement to do her once a day broody get a meal, some water and relieve  herself ritual.  This routine can, well take a little time, so I left the door open and went about my business thinking I would check back in an hour to make sure she had returned to the eggs.  Needless to say, I got busy.

Six hours later my brain kicked in and I was running to the hen-house to see where she was.  As I rounded the door I immediately saw 2 of last years hatch in the broody pen checking things out.  Kicked their fuzzy little butts out.  Turned around and found Georgia setting in the laying box, there in the corner where all of this started.  Chickens really are creatures of habit.  Gently picked up her fluffed out, angry little don’t-you-take-me-off-my-eggs butt, and cracked up laughing as I placed her on the eggs in the broody pen.  Georgia honey you were “setting” on an empty nest!  When a “broody hen” goes broody she don’t care “what she’s setting on”, she just knows she’s setting.  Fortunately eggs can go unattended 12-14 hours and still hatch.

If you read my last post you know the mail order buff chicks have arrived AND Georgia’s eggs have hatched.

It took a full 2 days for all the viable eggs to make their entrance into the world.  Out of the 6 eggs she was setting on we got 1 black and gold chick, 2 almost white chicks, and 1 yellow chick.  I knew the other two were dudes when Georgia relocated the babies to the other side of the pen and left the un-hatched eggs sitting there all day.  I removed the 2 eggs, cleaned up a bit and got Georgia and the chicks settled on some fresh shavings.

Now if you are a chicken person, you know you have a tendency to stand around staring at your birds.  After I got Georgia and the babies re-settled I noticed her tilting her head and eyeballing the buff chicks she had been listening to, and watching for the last 5 days.  An idea hit me!  Later on that night, when everybody was nice and sleepy, I went in and removed 2 of the  buff chicks and put them in the broody pen with Georgia and her brood.  I stood there and watched as not much happened other than the black and gold chick getting up, close and personal to one of the buff babies as if to say “hi how are you”.   I stood there watching for a good little while, decided all was well and left them to it.

Got up yesterday morning and all was still well, so Yep, put another couple in.

One big happy familyLast night I added a few more.

OMG, I just incorporated ALL the mail order buff chicks in with Georgia and her brood.  She is accepting these little orphans as if they are her own, awesome!  I do believe that having to see and hear them just a few days before her own hatched have contributed to her believing they are her chicks.  Either that or she is just one fine ass broody hen!  Made a quick call to “Bob the builder” and before you knew it we had connected our 2 (3 X 4) brooder pens to make 1 big long pen.

long pen

Now we have Georgia and 15 chicks in a 3 X 12 brooder pen, all together, one big happy family.  Yeah!

Just in case you’re keeping count: 26 total (last post) – 8 re-homed = 18, 18 + 13 (buff) + 4 (hatched) – 2 (buff deaths) = 33.

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