Saturday, April 23, 2011

Mr. Hairy is a mom

Remember in another post when I said we were getting chicks this summer?  Well, what I should have said was we were getting chicks TODAY!

Several weeks ago my white silkie hen decided that come heck or high water, she was going to sit on a spot on the floor and try to hatch an egg.  Silkies are notorious for their broodiness, and to be honest that was the reason I got her in the first place.  I was thinking at the time (last year) that this spring I might like to try hatching a few eggs.  So, when she went broody last month, I decided to just let her sit there and see what would happen.  In the end she ended up sitting on six eggs, some of them not her own.

Every few days I would lift up her rump to check on the progress.  21 days came and went, and I figured that for whatever reason (probably the cold, damp weather) the eggs weren't going to do anything.  But being the lazy person I am, I just let her keep setting til I figured out what to do.

Then this evening, I lifted her up and saw two little fuzzy black things drop out from under her wings.  Chicks!  Teeny tiny black peeping chicks!

Enter frantic mode.  After a hurried supper, hubby and I set up the big brooder cage inside the coop, layered it with new hay and put in a small feeder and waterer.  We moved the mamma and her babies and the unhatched eggs (just in case) to the new, more protected location.  I wanted to be sure that the barn cats and the rest of the chickens weren't tempted by the new babies.

Of course I have no chick feed, and tomorrow's Easter, so all the stores will be closed.  They will just have to survive on layer feed until then.  I'll have to go to the grocery store and get some more parakeet grit.  And I've just remembered about the danger of chicks drowning in water, so I must find some marbles or rocks to put in the base of the water fount.  So many things to do!


Mama Pea said...

We usually hatch out at least one (sometimes a couple) batch of "homegrown" chicks (mostly thanks to one of our little banties) each year. But it's still too cold to let them set yet here this spring.

Congrats on your two little surprises! Hope you get a couple more.

Erin said...

What a shame on a holiday so many people only associate bunnies and eggs with that there is no feed to be had LOL! Congrats!

Karen said...

Wooohooo!! Congrats! What a lovely surprise to find! Keep me posted on how the little babies are doing! I assume the chicks that hatched belonged to momma silkie?

Anonymous said...

I raised silkies for a number of years, they will sit on anything round once the notion takes them.They are great Moms and usually hatch three broods a year and sometimes lay when they still have not weined the chicks they have with them. Great story.