Monday, 10 May 2010

Broodies - be careful what you wish for

It wasn't too long ago I was anxiously waiting and wishing at least one of my hens would go broody, so I could start this years breeding plan.

I now have six birds at various stages of broodiness!

The first a Speckled Sussex successfully hatched and reared 7 chicks, who are now 4+ weeks old. ( 5 Welsummer and 2 'table birds' ) They are doing well and are nicely feathered. Next weekend I will possibly remove the hen and 'mix' the chicks with the incubator chicks of a similar age.

The second to sit is the light Indian Game pullet. She is safely housed in the small ark and run in the garden and has another week to go before the 9 'table bird' eggs are due to hatch.

Third and fourth are the Ixworth and second Indian Game, they quite like the idea of being broody but can't decide if they are fully committed, so I am doing all I can to dissuade them.

Fifth is the Australorp. A shame really as I would loved to have used her but the timing is wrong. Despite all our efforts she is sitting tight, pecking anyone who tries to displace her from her nest. When removed she sits where she is placed all fluffed up, eventually she angrily gets up and runs squawking all the way back to her nest. If she is still as broody next week I may foster the Indian Game chicks onto her if I have a problem with the mothering abilities of the Indian Game hen.

Sixth and hopefully final broody is the second Speckled Sussex. She started yesterday, no gradual build up that you get from most, just straight almost comatose broodiness. I am hoping to give her a clutch of eggs. My final hatch this year, other than the turkeys.

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