Mini Horses

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Just want to add -- for those who have never experienced hen raised chicks. Beyond the fact that they take over the need for heat lamps and housing for that stage of life, they teach them to be a chicken!! To forage, watch for danger, run to safety, come when called (yep, to humans who call, also)....go to roost, learn hierarchy of flock, join into the flock as members. ALL the things we try to do as "foster" moms and often have trouble doing.

Like Beekissed as done, you can often use a broody to adopt those day old chicks. Personally, I find ALL these things just so great for my home flock dynamics that it is worth the few weeks of eggs that hen stops giving. If you WATCH the little family on a day to day basis, the instincts of these birds is just amazing, and their mothering so very sweet and protective, while still teaching SS ways. A learning experience, for sure.

Look at the pics. Did I mention the absolute CUTE factor? Hug a broody! :celebrate
 

Beekissed

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I agree! Well....that BA broody didn't stick the nest, so she didn't get any eggs for brooding. The hatchery strains don't seem to have a strong broody trait in them, hence my surprise at even getting a BA broody at all. Not too common in any of the hatchery stock BAs I've ever had.

Too bad. Supposed to get really hot here this week and it's bound to throw a few of the WRs into a broody state, so I'm not too disappointed.
 

Beekissed

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Okay...now that fickle BA is back on the nest this evening, as is a NEW broody, a WR this time. We'll wait and see how dedicated they are to the sitting before I go ahead and give them eggs.

Broodies.... :rolleyes: can't live with 'em, can't live without 'em.
 

sumi

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I have a feeling my original OEG hen is starting to get broody ideas. I heard her clucking and fussing yesterday.

I was very surprised to find an egg in the broody and chicks' sleeping area yesterday. I usually don't expect the moms to start laying until they are near done with the chicks and these little ones are a bit too young to wean yet. She must be an excellent layer!
 

Beekissed

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I have a feeling my original OEG hen is starting to get broody ideas. I heard her clucking and fussing yesterday.

I was very surprised to find an egg in the broody and chicks' sleeping area yesterday. I usually don't expect the moms to start laying until they are near done with the chicks and these little ones are a bit too young to wean yet. She must be an excellent layer!

I agree! Mine usually don't wean until 2 mo. and then slowly return to the laying pool. I'd keep an eye on that one and keep her genetics going.
 

Beekissed

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I usually don't candle a broody hatch, but in light of the problems I've had this year with hatching, I will be candling the clutch tonight. This will be the 10th day of the brood, so I should be able to see how many chicks are in those eggs.

Can't wait!
 

Beekissed

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Well...it's not good news. 10 of the eggs were not fertilized...why is a mystery, as this is not an old flock, nor an old rooster. 8 of the eggs showed some development, some more than others, but only about 4 of them showed correct development...that's out of 19 eggs set. There was yolk on the shells, so one of the eggs had been broken and consumed.

That's about standard out of the hatches I've had this year....many eggs set, only about 4-5 chicks hatched successfully. Mostly the BA/WR cross chicks, one WR chick each out of two separate hatches, none of the EE eggs have hatched successfully.

Most of the infertile eggs have been the largest eggs I get, which are those I desire most to be hatched.
 

Beekissed

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I think I might have hit on what the problem is....I have more BA hens than I did last year~only had one last year, nearly half my whole flock is BA birds. Almost all of them are barebacked from overbreeding, while my WRs show minimal breeding damage to their backs~this has a two fold reason, of course, as the hatchery stock BAs have inferior feathering compared to the WR birds, but also it shows they are getting more breeding. They tend to stick closer to the rooster while ranging, while the WR ladies range out further and are thus less available for breeding when he wants it.

After the current broody is done with her hatch, I'm thinking about penning up the BA birds to give them a little break from mating and also to give my WR hens a chance to get some of the lovin'. ;)
 

frustratedearthmother

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Sounds like that's it! Yep, give them girls a break! I'm sure they'll appreciate it and the WR girls will feel special, lol!
 
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