Friday, 16 March 2012

Started our broody hens setting on eggs

We had 1 large pen divided into 2 by a little chicken door so all our chickens and roosters were partying and mixin' it up.  Well, now we are heading into the time of year when the sun shines warmer and the snow will melt and little chicks should be hatched!  So we had to divide up the pens into 5 pens ~ 1 for each rooster and his lady-types.

 This tiny "broody" pen was made to be permanent in the barn, so it got a tiny roost and Gregg made a little 2 apartment nest for it.  It is toasty and cozy and now houses the Roo Tweety Bird and his Lady Licorice.
The ceiling was open to the loft, so we jammed some hay down and blocked the wind.
We found them like this in the morning
This was taken before the nest was put in
 This is the new self feeder my hubby built to fit along the right hand side of that room.  It is slender and fits perfectly.  I think we shall give it a little paint at some point for cute factor.
Feeder bottom
That little pen will be handy for when we have hens and chicks or any chickens that need separating.
The other side of the barn had 1 large pen that we divided into 2 temporary homes
All our pens are on timers for the light bulbs ~ set for 16 hours of "light" for best egg laying production.  Right now the heat lamps are on constantly and we are looking for some guards to put around them and also some shields to reflect the heat down.
1 smaller pen and 1 larger pen
We use hay as bedding as we don't have any sawdust available...they like to scratch in it and will eat it too.  The hay loft above was full of square bales this fall and we sure noticed a difference in how warm the chickens were.  The heat stayed down better and when you hit -40C, you need all the help you can get!
 The new pen, they love it!  We love to watch them eat and scratch in the hay.  They say if chickens got 1 - 3 blades of grass a day there would be no Avian flu... interesting!

The smaller pen for the Brahma Roo and 8 ISA Brown hens
Once the snow melts in their outside pen, they will get to go outside again. Right now they just look at me like I'm crazy when I suggest they go out .... it's warming up to 3C now, so soon the snow will be muck!
Louie, the Jersey Giant and his ISA Brown and Buff Orpington/ISA cross hens
 Louie is so gentle that he wouldn't stand up to Mr. Bean, but boy, put him with his own ladies and no competition... he made up for lost time! 
 "Trudy" a Buff Orpington/ISA Brown that we hatched ourselves 11 months ago gets 10 eggs to sit on.
"Crystal" our Silkie gets 5 tiny eggs to sit on

 They tucked their little baby eggs in and haven't left the nest so far.  We are praying hard that they stay put and we'll hatch out around Easter weekend.  The eggs will be cross breed chicks, but we don't really care right now.  They were so broody, we thought they deserved a chance at it!
These 3 are in the broody pen as well, but they don't bother the brooders

Jersey Giant with ISA Browns and our Buff Orpington/ISA Brown hens

Silkie setting in the same pen as the Cochin's
Leghorns and Americauna chickens together
 They get the other pen and when the ice melts I'll open their door so they can go outside too.

 I shared this on ~ Homestead Revival

1 comment:

  1. Lovely, lovely, lovely! Thank you for posting all this. I miss having chickens, and look forward to starting with a few dozen day-olds, probably in spring of 2013. Need to get our coop set up first.

    I'm in awe at how clean your coop is at the end of winter. My old one was horrid by this time of year, all that frozen guck starting to thaw, and it was NOT fun digging it out. Phee-yew!

    I loved seeing the buff Orpingtons. Those were my favorite hens - so gentle and friendly.


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