Sunday, 16 May 2010

Broodies and chicks

Another weekend of poultry reorganising. This is our first year breeding poultry in any number with the aim of starting to build 2 or 3 flocks and we seem only ever to be one step ahead of the birds in regards to housing and fencing. Next year it will all be different or so I keep reassuring my husband, as I ask yet again for another house to be built or an area fenced.

Yesterday, as planned we removed the Speckled Sussex from her brood and placed her back into the Welsummer flock. She settled immediately, within minutes she had been mated by the cockerel and by the end of the day had laid her first egg since going broody.

We then put all the female chicks from the incubator hatch into the same run as the Sussex's chicks, with a new larger house ( all made from recycled cedar, so costing nothing.) They kept apart for most of the day, one group at one end of the run and the second group at the other end but in the evening they all went to roost in the same house and came out this morning a little more sure of each other.

The poultry shed the incubator chicks were in, I thoroughly scrubbed and disinfected. Once dry and aired I prepared it for the Australorp broody, who is now happily settled on a dozen Exchequer Leghorn eggs.

Today I scrubbed down and disinfected the stable, as last night we decided to place the other broody Speckled Sussex in there on a clutch of turkey eggs. I usually like to whitewash the stable between use, but time is against us. I'm sure a thorough scrub with Virkon will be sufficient.

The Indian Game's eggs are due to hatch on Tuesday. Tonight I shall removed the water bowl and grain and replace them with a chick proof drinker and mix of grain and chicks crumbs and leave her undistrurbed. I do wonder if they have already started to pip, as when I peeped in the door first thing she growled at me, similar to the Sussex as hers started to hatch, normally I just get a 'look'.

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