Sunday, 15 August 2010

Two chicks have hatched!!

After all the fretting and worrying about whether or not I had done everything right...

...should I have moved the eggs?

...will the hen sit still on the eggs long enough?

...have I provided a good enough brooder for the hen and the chicks?

...it looks as though I can relax just a little bit today, as yesterday was the day the first two chicks hatched out of their eggs!



I realised this morning, that the broody hen was in fact Queenie. Queenie was one of the chickens we rescued a couple of years back, and was and still is, the only hen to actually stand up to Rhydian. I remember when she came in, Rhydian started to boss her around, when she reared up, with all her neck feathers standing on end - it made her look like a spitting cobra - the effect was so dramatic! She has been the one most friendly towards me - I feel awful I didn't realise it was her.

I went over this morning to let the rest of the ladies (and Rhydian) out to free range as usual, and to check on the broody hen and the eggs. Inside the coop I heard some definite 'cheeps', so excitedly I open the door and looked inside - there was a little tiny, white head peeping out from under Queenie's rear feathers!



I snuck inside a bit further and sat down on the hay next to the brooder, when ANOTHER head popped out. This one was a light brown colour with a dark stripe on it's head, and looked so cute!

While I was there I couldn't help but pick one up and just marvel at the whole aspect of a new life starting. This was totally unexpected - and I've only had a couple of days to adjust to the thought of possibly having chicks hatching - I just hope that I can look after them well enough for them to survive and prosper.

As I was sitting there, I filled up the small 1kg feeder with chick crumbs and the coffee cap with water (washed out thoroughly of course!). I then held both in front of Queenie one at a time so she knew that they were food and drink for her babies. Hopefully she will show the chicks how to eat and drink properly - at least that's the plan!

Here's a photo of them clambering a bit under the watchful eye of Queenie.


I also took a few little movies - they can be seen on my Youtube channel here, as well as this one below.



You can hear their little cheeps, but you can also hear Queenie telling the chicks to behave themselves!

I'll be keeping regular updates on these little things, so keep checking back for the latest news!


UPDATE!





The newest addition to our family!



Awwwwww!

NEW UPDATE!!

We now have FOUR chicks!


:D

14 comments:

Jo Capper-Sandon said...

Brilliant, Queenies done well (and you of course with all the sorting out )
...heehee, your face when you ran from the paddock back to the house with the news. :0)

Great bit of film footage.

Stiggy said...

Thanks dearest,Queenie has done amazingly well considering her histroy - I guess it's the natural instinct kicking in!

...and what was wrong with my face - I was just excited that's all!

;)

Ruth said...

Oh, I don't want to interrupt this sweetness. (I'm crying, so touched.)

Stiggy, your gentle concern for your brood is just precious, and you and Jo, picturing that look on your face, oh man.

Is there anything better than this new life? When our broody hen (that's her name) HAD to sit on some eggs, and then hatched out 3, we just loved it. Each time chicks are born, I am stunned by the extraordinary episode of life. Everything is there in the egg! And they come out looking like wet raptors, and within hours they are all fluff and Easter goodness.

Thanks for a very touching few minutes.

joanne wardle said...

awwwwwwww

awwwwwwwwwwwwwww

I can't decide who is more the mother hen, you or queenie!!

Stiggy said...

Thanks Ruth you big ol' softy!

I sat by her again earlier - but then decided to leave her to it for a while.

I'm glad you liked my post today.

:D

Yeah, yeah Joanne! ;)

It's very stressful all this hatching business you know - Queenie has it easy - all she has to do is sit and keep them warm - while I run about like mad, fretting about everything!

:D

Debbie said...

I wasn't able to view the video (darn dial up) but did want to say that I truly enjoyed the post on the new chicks! Queenie has done a wonderful job! Give them a few days and Queenie will take them out and about. I loved watching mama hen walking about the yard with her chicks. Thank you so much for sharing!

I called up my blog this morning and the only picture showed up. I am thinking its the picture of the book I gave away that wouldn't come up. :(

Hope you have a great day and more chicks in the morning!

Debbie

Stiggy said...

Thanks Debbie, Queenie certainly is doing agreat job!

Strange about that thing on your blog - let's hope it goes soon!

:D

Carol said...

The chicks are beautiful little creatures. Thanks for sharing with us, Dave. Really enjoyed.

Stiggy said...

Thanks Carol!

Keep checking here for updates!!

:D

Lottie said...

Aww bless - such a joy, and jusr wait until the others hatch out!

I bet the boys will love them too.

My friend put some eggs under her two broodies and its amazing how quickly they grow in a week, 2, 3 etc.

With a bit of luck you'll be getting eggs from these for Christmas presents. Keeping my finger crossed that you have more pullets than boys

John Gray jgsheffield@hotmail.com said...

as an old hardened chicken keeper now ( I remember all too well the excitement of the first hatchings)
great fun!!!

only one work of advice
leave mother alone with eggs and very new babies.....

enjoy!!!!!!!
john

Stiggy said...

Thanks Lottie, and Kane has already been inside the coop to see them - AND Jo!

I hope too that we don't get ANY boys - that would be my nightmare!

:D

John - you're so right - it's very exciting - I want to just sit there all day looking at them, but I did manage to leave them alone for most of the day!

I only check now just to see if we have another arrival or to see if everything is ok.

Any tips you can throw at me are always welcome!

:D

Carrie said...

Lovely to see the video and hear their little chirps - I almost feel broody for a few chicks myself . thanks for sharing.

Stiggy said...

Thanks Carrie, you can imagine my surprise then when I picked an egg up and heard it cheep!!

I think the films show how tiny and vulnerable the chicks are - and also how well Queenie is doing!

:D