ANZ's Farms

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Broody Hen ... an update

"Patience is a virtue", my mother often said. I like my mother-in-law's saying better: "Don't pray for patience. The LORD will give you opportunities to practice it". My contribution to the wisdom of the ages should be "Impatience is expensive and more trouble in the long run".

Case in point. I didn't wait for one of my hens to go broody. I bought 7 chicks, pictured here, and began the heat-lamp-another-clutch-of-animals-to-feed-water-and-clean-up-after thing. About a week later, sure 'nuff, one of my hens went broody. So in a week or so, we should have another 6 chicks running around the farm. Sweetly, my husband has built a new enclosure where the hen can raise her chicks. This brings our total of chicken areas -- which all need individual attention -- to 4. And by the way, my efforts to force a hen to set were worthless. They kicked the plastic eggs out of the nesting boxes (golf balls may have been better). I had removed them and given up by the time nature took its course.

That's the bad news. The good news is that it is exciting to raise my own chicks for the first time. I learn so much watching nature. That hen is such a good mother. She has sat day after day on those eggs, keeping them warm and gently turning them every so often. She won't leave to eat or drink unless I tempt her with scratch. Only the sound of the treat bucket lures her from her nest for a short period to stretch her legs, poop, eat a little and drink a lot. Human mothers have alot to learn from the dedication of animals to their offspring.

If all goes well, I'll be posting some pics of our newest additions soon. Stay tuned.

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