Thursday, July 12, 2012

chick adoption update


The broody, unwed hen and co-op chick adoption is going superbly! 

She has been an excellent mother, protecting the chickies and teaching them how to be chickens, and let me tell you- they are so much smarter than chicks raised with no ‘mama’.  They already love going outside with their mama and they come in by themselves at night!  Previously we would have a flock of grown hens and then introduce some chicks, keeping them separate until they could defend themselves because the hens would peck them horribly.  Then it was like they were so scared of the hens the chick teenagers would just hide in the coop all day and we had to flush them out every morning so they could get some air and eat some greens and bugs, then herd them back in at night, for weeks. 

This situation is so much less work for us!…



I used a milk crate to make a chicks-only feeding station with their chick food and their water (they can’t yet reach in the hens water bucket)…



Usually it is flat against the wall but spaced out about 4 inches so the chicks can get inside it but not the hens (I pulled it away from the wall for the second picture).  They know right where to go to get their meals.

They are still trying to figure out how to roost with mama now that she has given up on the nest.  She comes in first and waits patiently on the roost for an hour or two while they make their way inside and run around squawking and jumping and flapping…



DSC_0673     DSC_0683

The problem is, even if they are brave enough to flap their wings and take the leap, the other ladies aren’t very generous with the space on the roost…


Mama gives them a what-for if they look at the chickies the wrong way, but she lets the chicks elbow wing their own way in there.  She’s a good teacher.


So far only one of the little peepers is able to make the leap to the roost, and dash into the safety of mama’s wings…




They encourage the others…


But so far, they have wimped out and decided to keep each other warm in the good old nest.


Just a matter of time before they are big, fat, fluffy, glorious hens!



  1. That chick on the roost with mama is so dang cute. I wonder if you will have to get her some orphans next year too...

  2. I love the picture of the little chick looking up at the big chicken.