Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Miracle Birth(s)!

I have mentioned my two chickens Brighty and Gimley in previous posts. At one time we had nearly forty chickens of varied and mixed breeds but predators are the #1 cause of death for poultry in backyard farms and I was sure we would be fowl-less in just a matter of time. Brighty is an older Silver Sebright hen, of eight years, which would be at least 55 if she were a human being.

She hasn't even layed any eggs for a couple of years and I was thinking about getting some layer mash feed (extra calcium/protein) for her just to see if she might be able to produce an egg or two and hatch them. Turns out she was way ahead of the game and had us all fooled...I found out she had a whole clutch of them in a nest in the small doghouse that I used to store straw.
There was so much bedding, that her nest was quite deep but there seemed to be at least six eggs in it!

Then came a pretty cold day, she was off the nest for quite a while and I thought she wasn't serious about hatching any young. But she got back on and stayed put and I wrote on the calendar that if they were to hatch, it should be around the 13th of this month.

I had just started a new job on the 4th and as I was leaving work, my son phones to inform me that at least one chick has hatched...What? you're kidding...9 days early??!

I had the next day off thank-goodness, and by mid-day...there were NINE little fluff balls!
She had had more eggs than I could see and every one of them hatched! Way to go old girl.

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