Monday, 20 June 2011

More chicks

We now have 6 Araucana chicks altogether. Bessie who managed to squash 4 chicks now has 3 live ones so hopefully she has leant to be a Mum. She is still clumsy and tends to tread on her babies but they quickly learn to get away from Mum's feet. She trod on the youngest tonight, it was only born today and wasn't on it's feet properly yet. We managed to get it from under her feet. It should be running around tomorrow.

It was hatched at a time when Bessie was running around outside gobbling food, and it got a bit cold and limp so we got the hairdryer and blew warm air at the lowest speed on it for a bit. It did the trick as it's feathers dried off and it started moving about more. It's a problem that the nest boxes are higher up and once the older chicks are running about they tend to fall down into the shed and then Bessie doesn't want to get back in the nest. We solved it with the latest by putting her in the big indoor cage. What a tussle getting her into the cage. I had to fight to get her out of the shed. Once she was settled in with her eggs and 3 babies she was fine and settled down on top of them. I gave her a load of wheat and she was obviously very hungry and ate quite a bit, followed by some layers' pellets.

There are 4 eggs left, but one of them rattles so think the chick might have died. We will wait another few days to see if any more hatch. So far we have had 100% fertility from all the eggs, 4 squashed and 1 died in the shell. Pretty good going I think for our first attempt at hatching chicks.

It was a learning curve for both us and the hens. For example, we won't put Nankin eggs under Bessie again, although she didn't have them in the first place, but they kept changing nests and she ended up with them. In future, we would make sure when they are hatching they are under a Bantam.

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