Sunday, April 17, 2011

On Eggs

April 16:

About 2 weeks ago, Ms. Lacey McCacey Chicken "went broody".  No two ways about it, she wanted to raise Baby Chicks and she wanted them now.  I suppose Folks around her might conclude she was cranky.  But no, she knew what she wanted and she was going to do whatever she needed to get there.  That included getting some cooperation from the Humans.

Lacey is a Buff Orpington Hennie.  She came to us in that first batch of Chicks 4 years ago.  I named her because of the lace-like pattern I noticed in her feathers.  She was the 1st of our Hennies to indicate broodiness and she is the only Hen we have allowed to set.  Watching her through the years, I would conclude that she is quite the Mother.

Effective this day, Lacey is on Eggs.  For the past few days, Melanie has been gathering Eggs laid by the Delaware Hennies and keeping track of who laid them in their own special Egg Carton.  Some days, Melanie is headed out to the Chicken House about every 20 minutes, especially when she has Delawares in the Nest Boxes. 

Both she and Richard have noted that the Delaware Rooster is the Delaware Hen's Rooster of choice.  They don't seem to let the 3 Buffie Roosters even get close.  Assuming the Eggs are fertile, our hunch is there is a strong probability that the Delaware Eggs will yield Delaware Chicks and not crosses.  That's definitely what we want here.

Delawares are new for us this past year.  We really like them.  They seem to like their Humans too. They are strong and vigorous, with quite the personalities. They are good and consistent layers during the Winter Months. As for the Rooster, "Del" gives the Humans a wide berth, which is fine by us. We're not yet sure about his name, but "Del" seems to fit for now.

Assuming all goes well, Chicks should hatch in 19-22 days.  That means they will make their presence known to the outer world shortly after the new Baby Chicks arrive in the mail.  

We laughed about how we are handling Lacey "setting" this time as compared to the 1st time.  That 1st time (which was our 1st here on the Farm), we watched her every spare second.  We would even test the Eggs to see if they were closer to hatching.  Somehow, we Humans forgot that Hennies have been doing this for a long time.  They don't need us other than in a minor supporting role. 

These days, Lacey seems pleased that she has trained us well.  If we get too close, we get a some talking to.  But mostly, we sit back and let her do what she knows very well to do.

Other Lacey adventures

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