I’ve been learning a few things about broody hens and day old chicks this week. Eileen has resisted all efforts to snap her out of broodiness.
Not entirely sure if it was a good idea or not, I purchased her six day-old chicks – three bantam Langshans and three bantam Araucanas – of mixed colours.
They are so very cute.
We snuck them under her at night and it all seemed to go well. By morning the chicks were still under her, but things went a bit pear-shaped during the day. I tried moving them to a safer location and Eileen was off the nest. We moved her back and she sat again.
Eileen spent the day sitting and ignoring the chicks. Alice decided to join the broody club. It was raining and miserable, so we ended up bringing the chicks inside and putting them under heat. We tried again that evening. Half for Elieen, half for Alice. Again, the chicks were fine overnight and abandoned during the day. The only difference being that I caught Alice pecking the chicks this afternoon.
So now I have the chicks inside and I’ll be spending my day off tomorrow constructing a broody box and trying to sort out a good light source.
After all of this, Eileen and Alice are still broody. Sigh. So I’ll continue trying to snap both of them out of it. Lucky they’re super sweet most of the time!
On the upside, our lovely neighbour has offered to look after the chooks (and the chicks) over Christmas while we’re away. We were chatting over the fence and he was insistent. When I asked him if he had had chooks before he laughed and assured me he grew up on a farm back in Greece. I think the chooks will be fine!
In the meantime, I’ll be learning a lot more about chicks. Any hints?