Winter Chicks

Last Spring, The Farmer used an incubator to turn some of the farm eggs into chickens. They were The Farmer’s little pet project throughout the year.

Chick hatching in incubator in April 2018

December found The Farmer enjoying fresh eggs while the hens were adjusting to their winter quarters.

One night late in December, when The Farmer went out to gather eggs, a hen was still in a nest box. She made it known by the cock of her head and the low screeches that she did not want to be disturbed. She had gone broody.

The next morning, though, she was out with the other hens, so The Farmer just took note…but, the hen acted the same way a couple days later.

Six winter chicks hanging out with mama.

So we scooped up the nest box, with the  chicken and any eggs and transferred them a brooding cage in our basement.

This week we heard the familiar chirping of chicks.  Mama hen hatched 6 chicks and has brought them out of the nest for some grain and water.

One day we heard one of the chicks chirping loudly.  We went down to look.  Mama hen was moving hay around the bottom of the pen in a sort of agitated manner. We only saw 5 chicks.  We didn’t want to help too much as mama hen was likely to attack us.  So we let them be.  Several hours later we returned to the  pen and now there were 6 chicks.  Did one get buried in the loose hay bedding?  We don’t know for sure, but they are all alive and accounted for again.

In three or four weeks they should be feathered out enough to move to a pen in the barn.

Winter chicks are unusual for us. This has certainly been a fun experiment. Time will tell if we have any hens to become layers from this brood.