Chickens: Oops, I did it again!

IMG_20170504_133059After ending up with three cockerels and one hen last year, when we first hatched chicks, I said I wouldn’t do it again. But I have. Pretty stupid move, really.IMG_20170504_133348Ava got broody and was being very mean to the other chickens when they wanted to lay eggs in the nest. I ignored her for ages, kicking her off regularly but in the end, I moved her into the guinea pig hutch, (still in the run), so she’d stop attacking the other chickens.DSC_0023 2I removed the eggs daily. but then got soft and let her sit on four…thinking there would be a 50% survival rate. Sadly, by that point, she’d laid her ‘clutch’ and so all the eggs under her came from other chickens laying in the same nest…what I didn’t realise was they kept laying in there so actually, at day 9, when I first went to candle the eggs there were seven!DSC_0018Some weren’t fertile and on day 23, three of the chicks hatched. DSC_0021 2Sadly, Ava abandoned the last two eggs a day or so later, as she’s clearly decided they weren’t going to happen. Luckily Audrey was now also broody, so I just stuck the last two eggs under her. One hatched (actually I ‘assisted’ it as it pipped but didn’t get any further for days, and it survived – hurrah!) and the other, sadly, didn’t make it out of the egg.DSC_0001Audrey abandoned her chick as clearly she was a bit confused about it hatching only a few days after she’d started sitting!DSC_0007So I gave it back to Ava who didn’t seem to mind and she is now happy with her little clutch of four chicks.DSC_0016They are out and about most days (as I want them well-integrated with the other chickens, so any boys have a chance of not fighting) and it’s a joy to watch them learn the ropes from ‘Mum’. I’m a little sad none are Ava’s as I’d have liked a Light Sussex cross, but we’re definitely done with chicks….for now, anyway 🙂

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