Tag Archives: brand new chicks

Three new chicks

Foxy has managed to hatch 3 of 4 chicks.  She somehow broke all her first eggs, and I gave her a second batch, so she has been setting longer than usual.

She’s used her confinement productively to start regrowing her moulted feathers.One. Two. Three! They’re full size eggs and chicks, looks like two Ameracauna crosses and a Chanticleer.Seems like the danger zone.

Foxy is notably the least good-looking of all the Silkie hens, always grubby and making no effort at all.  Just a slovenly chicken.  It’s funny how different they are.  Most times setting hens will try to shit away from their eggs, so they aren’t sitting in it for days on it.  Makes sense, right?  At least they direct it all in one pile not right under them, and at best they get up and go outside the box to relieve themselves.  Not this one.  Nope.

But she was determinedly broody, so I let her work, even though I had to muck her out in a way I usually don’t.

Next door, Daisy is a determined digger.  She must have legs of steel.  She goes all day, preferring the greenhouse  where she can dig deep holes to the outdoor grass.  She kicks dirt and straw against the fence with a thump, thump.  Then she fills in the last hole digging a new one next to it, all the while clucking enthusiastically, like what could be better that this!  The chicks are always spattered with dirt.  I assume they’ll inherit quite the work ethic.  At least two weeks old now,  these Silkie babies are not substantially larger than the day-olds next door, although they are clearly more developed, with the tail “spray”, wing tip feathers, and longer legs.

Where there’s life, there’s cheeps.

This morning on chicken breakfast rounds, I discovered tragedy in the broody box.

A chick!  But it was spilled out in a corner of the box, belly up, wings and legs splayed out, eyes closed, beak open.  Very bad.  It was still alive, barely, and I stuffed it back under her, immediately.  Its legs stuck out straight.  A minute later, after tidying up, I rearranged the chick to tuck the legs in.  Its eyes were still closed and beak open, gasping.  This is usually the sign of imminent death.

But an hour later when I checked, lifting up momma’s front to see underneath, the chick was all life, jumping around tap-dancing on the other eggs. Cheep cheep cheep! Yay!  Recovery, due to the magical properties of momma hen heat.  I found her in time.

At lunchtime, there were two!This one was wobbly and still damp. It just kind of sunk, flattened, into the hay, falling asleep, and momma settled onto her.   This is good.You can still see a closed eye.By evening, the two were nimbly bopping about.   Momma jumped out to recon when we rearranged her living situation – now in a chickery – but went right back on the eggs. The remaining four eggs show no signs of pipping, unfortunately, but two healthy chicks are better than one or none.

One  is a blue egg, Puffcheeks or Cheeks’ offspring, and one brown- total unknown.  Hatching eggs from my layer flock is a mystery gift bag.  Almost all of them will be crosses of one kind or another.