First chicks of the season

After an early spring with lots of eggs a few weeks ago I started finding fewer and fewer eggs in the nesting boxes. While I found a couple of nests outside the coop with eggs, egg production was still drastically reduced. I wondered whether a hen had gone broody but was never able to find a nest with a broody hen. I got home tonight and ran out to the chicken coop in between rain bursts to collect eggs. While in the chicken coop I heard the very distinctive chirp of young chicks. A quick scan of the area revealed two chicks huddled outside the chicken coop. I dashed around the coop and found the two live chicks and a third one, dead, but no signs of broken shells or of a broody hen. I picked up both chicks and carried them to the brooder side of the chicken coop. After settling them in the brooder I hooked up the lights to keep them warm and cleaned and filled a waterer. However, what to feed them was an issue. The feed store was closed and I don’t keep chick feed on hand unless I have chicks. I finally decided I’d make some instant maple syrup oatmeal and a hardboiled egg to tide them over until I could get to the feed store in the morning. When I took the mix out to the coop and filled a chick feeder for them, I scouted around the chicken coop one more time to look for any other chicks or signs of a nest. I found neither, but I did find a hen hunkered down making distress calls. Hoping she was the broody hen, I caught her (at which time her vocalizations turned into seriously pissed off chicken sounds) and carried her around to the brooder. She did settle down over the chicks so I turned off the lights and left all three in peace.

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Hen with chicks

Hen with chicks

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6 comments

  1. Yes, I think so. She is keeping them under her and is very protective (read, drew blood when I reached in to fill the feeder with the chick feed I picked up this afternoon.)


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