Louisa Enright's Blog

Mainely Tipping Points

Turkey Tracks: Dog House Chickies Update 2

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Turkey Tracks:  July 28, 2012

Dog House Chickies Update 2

Mother hen Sally brought her babies out into the world early this morning.

When I unlocked the doghouse door, she came out immediately, then went back inside again to get her babies, and out they came, pouring through the door after her.

Three babies.  Two Americauna Wheaten/Copper Black Maran crosses and one CBM.  Sally and Cowboy and all the mothers batted 4 for 4 on this one as all four eggs hatched.

The fourth chick-the one who crawled away from her in the night and got too cold was on top of the food bowl this morning–dead but not stiff.  S/he must have lasted for the past two nights and one day.  And I think Sally stayed inside with him/her until it was clear s/he was dead.

Sally talks to the babies constantly.  She immediately began to scratch in the dirt and show them tiny somethings (??) to eat.  They run to her and eat the whatevers when she calls them.  Every so often, she takes them back to the doghouse for water and the ground-up feed I’ve made for them.  I need to put some Apple Cider Vinegar into their water now.  And, soon I’ll supplement with milk and scrambled eggs laced with garlic.

Those chicks came pouring out of the doghouse, but the lip is fairly tall.  I found a small ramp in the garage so they can return easily when they get ready to rest.

Sally’s definitely got them in school however–all the while chasing away an overenthusiastic chipmunk that’s plaguing them.  By noon, they are now scratching in the dirt themselves.  And they’ve learned that when she shrieks like a banshee and flashes her wings and spreads her tail out, they are to run to her and take cover.  Only, as I clipped her wings, she does not have full use of all her primary feathers as protection.  Clipping her wings didn’t work anyway.  She just hops to the fence top, balances, and goes over at will.

Gradually, they’ve moved away from the doghouse into other parts of the pen:

So where are the other hens and the rooster you might ask?

They have gone quite mad in the past few days.  There have been major fights among the hens and overwhelming emotions swirling around the whole pen.  Annie Chickie, the hen I raised, is one of the worst offenders.  There is absolutely no way I’d turn these crazy ladies loose with Sally and her chicks.  So for the moment, they are locked into the coop and cage.  And they are so NOT HAPPY about that.  So far this morning, I’ve brought them June bugs, fresh chard, milk and bread, and replenished their water.  They always have access to a mixture of organic whole grains and dried peas and lentils.  I give them some handfuls of millet most days as a scratch feed.

Friends  Ronald VonHeeswjik and Nicholas came to discuss how to manage this situation this morning.  We decided to leave the hens and rooster locked up for a day or two–the coop and cage are quite large actually–and to see if Sally gradually takes the chicks further afield.  She will sooner or later.  Once older, the chicks will be able to avoid the older hens.  And, if we need to move the doghouse to free the hens, we’ll do it at night when Sally and the chicks are inside.  I’ve figured a place to put them that they’ll like, that has cover, and that is shaded and cool.P

Pray for the babies to be HENS!

Written by louisaenright

July 28, 2012 at 12:27 pm

2 Responses

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  1. congratulations!! xo

    lisa

    July 28, 2012 at 1:50 pm

  2. So exciting!

    Susan Heath

    July 28, 2012 at 8:57 pm


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