Chicks, Chicks, and More Chicks

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The oldest chicks

Ken encourages broody hens.  A broody hen is one who wants to sit on a clutch of eggs and hatch out chicks.  Many modern breeds of egg layers have this trait bred out of them.  Most egg producers think of production of eggs, and a broody hen sits for three weeks and cares for chicks a couple more after they hatch.  She isn’t laying eggs while she does that.

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The middle hatch

We like broody hens that hatch out chicks for a couple reasons.  Day old chicks have risen in price so that now they are nearly four dollars per chick.  Over the years we have noticed that chicks with mothers  have a decided edge.  She watches over them – protects them, shows them food and water, and how to scratch.  We also prefer a closed flock to avoid importing potential problems.  From time to time we do buy chicks to introduce traits we want in our flock.

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The newest batch of chicks

This year Ken has got a system down with a couple quiet safe areas for hens to sit and hatch.  Then he has been moving them into his small original coop.  So far he has three batches!

One Comment:

  1. Controlling genetics is vital to a great flock. We lost one broody hen this spring but have a second on a clutch of twenty eggs that should soon hatch. Had a coon break into their space which we shot a 2am back with the full moon with our dogs after it – varmints.

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