Friday, April 29, 2011

2011 First Hatch Update

Little black hen has shown much different mothering techniques than 2010's broody hens.  First off, she is small and would rather usher her chicks away from other full grown chickens. While last year's hens would drop their wings and lunge at those invading her bubble.

However when it comes to smaller birds, blue jays etc., that she feels may be of some threat, she screeches out a fearsome cackle and flaps her wings so violently she lifts off the ground.  It is interesting to see her scare technique.  The first week her and chicks were outside she would yell randomly and fly, either straight up 6feet or across the garden and turn in midair back toward her chicks.  She always did seem to enjoy flying.

Our resident hawks are in full swing and the rooster alarm sounds multiple times a day followed by hens and chicks alike dodging under anything they can. I enjoy going outside to see the fuss and joining in the alarm call.

A freak snowstorm proves chicks can survive any weather and temperature with a proper diet, shelter and warmth from family.

Big White has begun taking his followers to all ends of the yard.  From deep woods, to swampy grass, from the street to the pasture, they are free ranging their limits.  But for them, the only limits are homing instincts.  Chickens do not seem to forget where they have found food in the past and venture forth eating along the way anything green or leaping to their salad bar pastures and leaf covered morsels. I stopped feeding out anything at all last week, and everyone, even the two broilers, go to bed with full crops.  Mmmm delicious grass fed organic eggs. They go great with the homemade bagels I just learned out how to make.

Check out the difference in feathering speed.

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