Thursday, July 13, 2006

a spunky guard for the new family

rowdyspunkykittenthatattacks or "spunky" for short is seen below guarding the hen house (or so I like to think). The chicks have moved into the outdoor pen. My plan was to wait longer before introducing them to the older hens but Ubie got broody.

Being broody means a hen sits on her eggs and waits for them to hatch. If the eggs are in fact fertilized they will hatch after about 3 weeks. If they are not fertilized the hen will still sit on them for several weeks. Eventually she'll lose interest and leave the eggs. Ubie was broody for about a week when I decide to try and use her as a mother for the chicks. This past weekend I began removing unfertilized eggs from her nest and replacing them with chicks. By Monday all ten chicks were living with her in the hen house. They seem to be getting along well and Ninja, our other hen, seems fine with her new roommates. Yesterday Ubie ventured into the outdoor area with chicks running around her. She's turning out to be a better mother than the light bulb.

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