Friday, 11 June 2010

Fresh air and sunshine

Photo: Finally fresh air and sunshine

One week old today, the Exchequer Leghorn chicks are finally out on the grass. If they are with a broody hen the chicks would normally go outside within the first couple of days, but heavy thundery showers had been forecast for the week. Also by keeping them in the poultry shed I was able to handle them more, they are known to be quite a flighty breed and I want them to be comfortable in my presence.

The mother hen is a feisty Mama and didn't take being separated from her young, albeit for a matter of seconds, quietly. I'm sure the neighbours must of thought I was doing her more harm than just moving her a few feet to her new home.

Once reunited with her chicks she quickly set about introducing them to the delights of grass, reassured them of the sounds of the outside world and warned the growers not to come too close to her brood. She also carefully positioned herself between them and me, just in case I had thoughts of removing them again.

Photo: Keeping her chicks at a distance

The poultry shed has been cleaned and disinfected ready, just in case any turkey chicks hatch next week.


  1. How much better it is for the chicks to have a mum around! Our recent day-olds would have been so much happier if one of our hens could have taken them on! They might even be well-behaved now!
    Thank you for another super chapter in your blog. How do you find the time?

  2. There is nothing nicer than seeing a mother hen fuss over her brood,sadly not always possible. I am hoping another hen will go broody in time for any turkeys that may hatch, it is looking unlikely.

    How old are your chicks now?

  3. Lovely picture. Their colors are beautiful. We still have 2 broody Wyandottes and 31 eggs ready to hatch from the incubator next Thursday. Hopefully, one or both of the hens will take some of them on.

    We have an egg eater in our midst. For the past 4-5 days, 2-3 of our eggs have been found each day with a giant hole in the center. How does one go about finding the culprit?

    Thanks again for posting great pictures.

  4. The chicks are now six weeks old and growing fast. I'm sure all four are cockerels! I wanted to update my blog with a photo but our camera is still at the menders. When we took it in the shop the man had said, "I'll pop it in the post tomorrow. It could be back on Saturday." That was three weeks ago! I only wanted a new battery door! You can't help laughing can you!
    Anyway I've got your blog to inspire me in the meantime!

  5. Ken .. what a shame if they turn out to be all cockerels, your grand daugher will be so disappointed she appears to have a true affinity with them. I will look forward to your photos, so frustrating for you with it taking so long.

    Marianne ....fingers crossed all goes well with the hatch and fostering, due the same day as my turkeys.

    re. Egg eating. Keep an eye out for a hen that keeps poppping in and out of the nest box or is hanging around outside the house.If you are lucky you may see one literally with egg on her face :)

    It is difficult to stop once it starts. Keeping the nest box dark helps, picking up eggs as soon as possible after they are laid, maybe putting china eggs in their place (except this may encourage broodiness)may help in deterring the habit.

    Good luck with your hatch I'll watch your blog with interest, I have never done fostering before.