Flicker’s Lair Blog

Very Free Range

by Heidi on June 23rd, 2009
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We have had to graduate from egg hunting to chicken hunting as a couple of our Chanteclers have decided to sit on the eggs they are hiding all over the farm!

Friday night was the first night that we couldn’t find one when it came time to close the barn. Last night it became two MIA at bedtime! After a lot of searching I spotted some eggs in a patch of very long grass, I called Steve who came at the spot from a different direction and told me that I had actually found a chicken! She was just very well hidden. Even knowing she was there and being stood right over her I still couldn’t see her!

So in the garage, or maternity ward, we now have three hens – two Chanteclers and one bantam – in cat carriers (yes – cat carriers) on eggs. They don’t need much space as they don’t move off their eggs, and they each have a small water and feed dish. We are now hoping we can convince the rest of our hens that they don’t need to go broody just at the moment as we are running out of carriers! We do still have one ‘missing’, but as the other one was almost impossible to see and in long grass (which we have rather a lot of), I think it will take a lot of luck for us to find her.

We also have 1 bantam hen with 7 chicks. If you have been following us you will know that she didn’t hatch all of those by herself. But the chicks have a tendency to get out and would get confused and return to the wrong mum. The mum of the second hatch would attack the chicks that weren’t hers, whereas the other mum just accepted any and all chicks and took care of them. So for space, peace and chick safety reasons we gave all of the chicks to the good mum and returned the other to the general population.

Then of course we have our twenty quail chicks and the two adult quail; the ‘babies’ are now almost fully feathered and looking just like small copies of the adults. With just the two adult quail it was easy enough to provide a good space inside, and although we were worried about them not having the outdoor pen we wanted for them, there is so much to do we hadn’t found time. We are soon going to have a space issue though so the outdoor pen will have to be moved up the list.

Last, but not least, there are the Muscovy ducklings and little dude. Last week we put them all together and started moving them to an outside pen during the day. This weekend we tried letting them out loose, and they have been getting on great. Mum has a tendency to wander off and leave the ducklings, but little dude is a very good older sibling and takes babysitting duties very seriously.

Gosling - June 23 Muscovy duckling - June 23 Muscovy duckling - June 23

We were quite surprised that this weekend mum duck started laying again, the ducklings are only 23 days old. This evening their mum left them outdoors when she went into the barn for the night! Don’t worry we put them safely back in their crate for the night with little dude, I think maybe she has given up on mothering duties all together!

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1 Comment

  1. the chicks are too cute! I heart Little Dude!

    Comment by Emily — June 25, 2009 @ 9:49 pm

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