31 July 2011

Chicken Sitting

We've chicken sat for our friends Gretchen and Haley when they go out of town, but this weekend was a little different.  Several weeks ago they decided to try hatching some chicks, since one of their hens went broody again.  They got eight fertile eggs from other friends of ours, Scott and Fred, and they didn't realize that they would be out of town the weekend the eggs were supposed to hatch.

Their plan was to set up a brooder in the house - a box with bedding, food and water, and a heat lamp.  They were afraid the hen might abandon the chicks while they were gone.  As it turns out, most of the eggs hatched before they left town and they decided to try the way Mother Nature intended.  They transferred the hen and chicks to a larger box with food and water and put it in a cage to keep the other hens out.

When I checked on them Friday night, all the chicks had hatched.  I was a little concerned about the chicks, so I've been checking on them a couple time a day.  I have to take the hen out of the box to see the chicks - that means I have to grab her without getting pecked.  The last time I did it, she wouldn't get back in the box immediately.  I got a little worried, because if she didn't get back in, I would have to set up the brooder and the heat lamp in the house.  I thought she might just be stretching her legs and getting a little bit to eat.  That was the case - within five or ten minutes, she got back in the box and I put the box back in the cage.  All I can say is, what an experience!

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