Saturday, February 6, 2010

Our hen hatched a chick

We've had chickens for 5 years now but we have never had a broody hen until this year. Rhode Island Reds (RIR) are not well known for going broody so we have used an incubator to hatch eggs every spring.

Last spring we hatched out 9 Americana's - the bluish / green egg layers. A couple of them went broody in early January. We gave the first one about 8 eggs to hatch and we gave the second one 4 eggs. The first hen decided she wasn't really in it for the long run and quit sitting on the eggs after about 10 days. Luke, named after Luke Skywalker because she is blonde, stayed on her eggs. She pushed out two eggs over the last week or so but she has kept the other two warm for 21 days. We gave her RIR eggs to hatch because the Americana eggs weren't yet ferilized.

Only one chick hatched today (see above). Unfortunately the second remaining egg didn't hatch. It doesn't get any more natural than this. I will certainly let the next broody hen hatch out more eggs. Let's hope they don't change their minds and stop being broody.

It's amazing to think that this little chick will be providing us with eggs (hopefully) or meat after I start the 100 meter diet. In return I will provide this chick with a safe place to live and eat.

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