Yes . . that’s one baby chick!
This is the big coop and right now there are three hens sitting on eggs. No babies yet in that coop. I have 19 hens and 1 rooster (Wilbur) in there. We lost 6 or 8 hens (I can’t even remember) to a possum this year and had at least one more that died so we lost a lot of hens out of that coop and I’m more comfortable having about 25 laying hens. Those chickens are friendly and nosy and I love them, though they aren’t the best layers. They stop laying completely about August and don’t start again til around December. I think the summers are just too hard on them.
This coop has four hens and 1 rooster. These are the Wyandotte chickens and honestly, I don’t like them. They aren’t friendly. They aren’t good layers but they’re pretty. I think we started out with 6 or 8 hens and one rooster. Through the years, we’ve lost a few hens and we’re down to four and they’re getting older so we either need to let them hatch babies or not . . let them all grow old and when they’re gone, we’ll go back to having one coop of chickens.
My plan was to let any broody hens sit on eggs and when they hatch, I’d take the babies and put them under the hens in Coop #1 who are sitting on eggs. That way, I’d keep the numbers down in Coop #2 and add young chicks to Coop #1.
Then, I started feeling bad about taking babies and had kinda talked myself out of doing that. Aside from that, I hadn’t been keeping up with how many days the hens have been sitting on eggs. I looked into Coop #2 yesterday and there was a baby – one bay – and it was probably several days old. It was already running around and momma had gotten off the remaining 9 eggs and was hovering around the energetic baby. My guess is the baby is at least 2 days old, maybe 3 and the hen has probably been off the next at least 24 – 36 hours so I’m not sure the eggs are still good but I took some of them over and put them under a hen in Coop #1.
Now, one chicken in Coop #1 is sitting on 17 eggs; one is sitting on 12 eggs and one is sitting on 7 eggs. I asked Vince “What would we do if ALL those eggs hatched?” He said “That’s YOUR problem! This was YOUR idea to let them sit on as many eggs as they wanted!” Hmmm . . what he doesn’t know is that, in my opinion, you can’t have too many chickens so long as your coop is big enough and that coop is big enough to add 36 chickens. The reality is that if 10 eggs total hatch, we’ll be lucky.
You know what’s going to happen now that I’ve said that . . I’m going to walk out there and find 36 baby chicks! 🙂