Posts Tagged chicks

New chickens join the flock

Yesterday we took delivery of 6 new Brown Warren hens who are 19 weeks old.  They came from a poultry farm where that is all they do, raise chicks from eggs and bring them on to point of lay.  We have had chickens from there before and they have been absolutely fine, without disease or any problems.  Brown Warrens are really good layers, nothing special to look at but very reliable birds.  Firstly we put them inside the hen house. They took a couple of hours before they ventured down the ramp to have a peck about, but they didn’t go far. They stayed very close to the hen house.

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Neil had to help them up the ramp last night as they hadn’t got the idea of going to bed when it got dark.  Today they were again reluctant to leave the safety of the hen house and stayed mostly underneath.

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I’m sure it will take a few days for them to acclimatise into their new surroundings and then the new pecking order has to be established with the older hens.  It is possible it will be 4 or 5 weeks before they start laying.

The baby chicks were playing up today.  We have given them a new feeder and they have decided it is something to fear as they wouldn’t come down the ramp into the run today but stayed up top in their hen house (a different one to the other hens) and were churning up the straw good and proper today.  They have grown so much, being nearly 7 weeks now.

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We still have some vacancies in the B&B in August and September so contact us for more details.

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The cheepsters in bed

Now that our broody hen Mrs Speckledy has died the 5 little chicks have been left to their own devices.  We were hoping they would be warm enough when they go to bed at night now that they don’t have Mrs Speckledy’s wings to snuggle under.  So we found a small box and lined it with straw and put it in the nest box. And sure enough all 5 little cheepsters snuggle down together at night to keep warm.  It is so cute to see them like little sardines in a tin.DSC05646

Luckily also we are experiencing a heatwave in the UK, so it is quite warm at night, which has helped them to survive as we don’t have a heat lamp for them.  They are growing quickly and their little wings are developing.  The little grey chick has furry feet and the multi coloured one already has a top knot!!  It will be fun trying to work out what breeds they are when they are more fully developed.

If you want to see our chicks, now is the time to visit.  We still have some vacancies in July in the bed and breakfast.

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Farewell to Mrs Speckledy

Our lovely broody hen Mrs Speckledy has died.  She sat on the eggs for 21 days, hatched 5 cute little chicks, was a brilliant hen mother to them, teaching them to scratch and perch and go up and down the ramp to the hen house.  Then a couple of days ago I noticed that she was very lethargic and didn’t respond when I threw bread, and the hens normally go wild for bread.  I also noticed her comb had gone very pale.  She had plenty of food and water but didn’t seemed to be bothered to eat, and then yesterday we picked her up to have a look at her and she didn’t struggle at all.  We put her back down in the hen house floor whereupon she went into death throws, croaked a bit and died in front of us!!

I am quite sad to have lost Mrs Speckledy as she was the only one of our hens to go broody and she hatched 3 chicks last year and was a fantastic mum to them and then 5 this year.  The current little cheepsters are only 2 and half weeks old and as we don’t have a heat lamp for them I was worried about whether they would be warm enough at night. We gave them extra straw in the nest box.  Luckily we are having a heat wave at the moment, and this morning they hurried down the ramp and started scratching about, so they were perfectly alright without their mother hen.

If  you want to come and see our little chicks come and visit us now.

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Two week old chicks

The little cheepsters are 2 weeks old today.  They are still so cute, but already they are growing and developing their little wings.  We have let them down the ramp from the hen house into the run now and they go and up and down the ramp quite readily, and Mrs Speckledy leads them up the ramp at night to go to sleep.

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They have already learnt that a little bit of bread is a treat to eat.

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The other chickens are delighting in treading down the grass in their new run.  They also love a treat of some bread in the afternoon.

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It’s always rewarding going to collect the eggs.  I love it when Mrs Cream Legbar has laid a blue egg.

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If  you want fresh eggs for breakfast come and visit our bed and breakfast

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5 Baby chicks

Well they didn’t hatch yesterday on our anniversary as I thought, and not first thing this morning, but by lunchtime today we had 5 baby chicks.  Not a very good hatch rate out of 11 eggs, but there we are.  Ah they are so cute and all different colours as they came from different breeds of hens.  Of course at the moment I have no idea which one is which, but that doesn’t matter, they are  so lovely.

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Mother hen is very protective and rears up everytime we open the hen house to have a look.

When I was trying to take pictures they kept running away.

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This little one was brave enough to go exploring on her own.

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At night they are all tucked up under Mother Hen’s wings.  Isn’t nature wonderful?

More pictures as they grow, watch this space…..

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A good Mother Hen

This is Mrs Speckledy in the nest box.  She has sat on the eggs now for nearly 3 weeks.  She leaves only briefly daily to eat drink and relieve herself.  She really is dedicated to the job of keeping the eggs warm and them eventually hatching.

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The eggs are due to hatch on Tuesday 18th June, which just happens to be our wedding anniversary.  What a lovely present to have little chicks hatch on that day, can’t wait!!

Mrs Speckledy is in the old hen house on her own, where she can stay undisturbed when the chicks hatch.  The other hens have been moved to a new run as there wasn’t a blade of grass left where they were.  They are now happy spuddling about in the long grass.

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Mrs Speckledy and the baby chicks

One of our hens, Mrs Speckledy went broody a few weeks ago and wouldn’t get out the nest box.  When the other hens laid eggs, she would roll them under her to keep them warm.  So we moved her in the ark where she could sit on a nest to her heart’s content without disturbing the others. A friend who has a cockerel, suggested to me that we put some fertilised eggs under Mrs Speckledy and wait to see if anything hatches.  So for 21 days Mrs Speckledy sat on these eggs.  She hardly moveed, hardly ate, I was quite worried about her.

Then on Thursday afternoon when the 21 days were up, we went down to check on her and there were 2 beautiful little black chicks.  I was surprised they were black, but guess they came from Black Rock mothers.

We put some chick crumb down and Mrs Speckledy moved off the nest to have a peck.  Of the eggs remaining on the nest, we saw one crack and move.  Another chick was hatching.  We waited but Mrs Speckledy sat back on the nest.  About 10 minutes later this bedraggled little brown chick emerged from under her wing.

You can just about see the little brown chick. Her mum was probably a brown warren hen.

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Mrs Speckledy is a good foster mum, cos although she didn’t lay these eggs, she has sat on them for the 21 days and is now taking the youngsters under her wing, literally.  They seem to have healthy appetites and all 3 have fluffed up nicely. They are so cute!! 

If you want to see our chicks visit us at www.lodgehousebandbsomerset.co.uk

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