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Chicken Scratch Poultry

Monday, April 15, 2013

Henny Penny

Back in February two of our Light Sussex hens became broodie and I decided to give them a job of hatching eggs.  We took the two hens and moved them into a pen of their own and and gave each of them their own box to sit in.  When we gave them their eggs they seemed quite happy and settled right into the nest.  Two days later one hen decided to get in the box with the other and share her eggs.   So the eggs she was sitting on became cold and nonviable.  I removed one hen and left Henny Penny to her job.  I learned a few things myself through this little project.  Never put 2 hens together when hatching and don't set them in a drafty box hanging on the wall in February to hatch eggs, they will never keep the eggs warm enough.

Twenty one days later I checked under her and saw that the eggs had begun to hatch, I then at that time moved her to the ground so that the chicks would not fall out of the nesting box hanging on the wall. I made her a nice bed of straw and she hatched out 3 cute little chicks. At the end of this post make sure you take time to watch the video of Henny Penny and her sweet babies!

Henny Penny was as proud as punch with her new babies.   I could sit and watch her for hours as she talked and purred to her babies but it was February and a bit too cold to sit and watch chicks.

The young hen was a great mother even though it was her first chicks.  Every time I came into the barn to visit her she would put them in the corner and get between me and the chicks.  It was difficult to even get a good picture of them.
Once the chicks were fully feathered I decided it was time for their first outing so I opened the door and waited.  Henny Penny peeked out to survey the situation.
She checked the chicken run to make sure it was safe for the babies to come out.  The chicks waited and watched.  Is that not the cutest little head peeking out the door!
After she was satisfied that it was safe she went back to the door and encouraged the chicks to come on out.  The sounds she made to them was so sweet! I wish I had videoed this moment!
It took some convincing, but she finally got the little Sussex baby to follow her.  She paraded that chick all over the chicken yard.  Henny Penny raised the chicks for 6 weeks, just this week she decided she had raised them long enough and wanted to get back to her flock mates.  I tried to ignore her and leave her with the babies, but one evening she jumped the fence and headed for her flock.  I guess she knows best.  She taught them well, they know how to roost when other chicks their age can not, she also taught them to go out side to the automatic water instead of drinking from the chick waterer.  There is nothing more fun than watching a hen raise babies.
Have you every pondered that age old question, which came first the chicken or the egg?  In Genesis 1:21 it reads God created every winged bird according to its kind and God saw that it was good.

1 comment:

  1. Cute! Ours are about 4 weeks old and most of them love to roost.
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