New life in the Coop

One of our dear hens, “Little Sister,” became a Mommy today again.  She has four babies right now, but she is still sitting on one remaining egg.  If it doesn’t hatch soon, we’ll take it away from her so she can get busy attending to her new little ones.  Can you see the baby’s head peeking out in the photo above?

Sorry this next photo is so blurry and terrible, but after waiting over 30 minutes, it was the only one I got of three babies peeking out for lunch!

This little one is standing in his lunch and Mom wants him back under her!

Our hens slow down their egg-laying during the winter months, and in the spring, they start laying like crazy, and they get very broody, meaning they want to sit on their eggs and hatch them.  We occasionally give in to a particularly determined hen, and Little Sister was very determined.  It’s so amazing that chickens used to be so common on everyone’s family farm, and now so many kids don’t really know about them.  We love the little critters, and their eggs with the rich golden yolks.  And watching them hatch these tiny little peepers is just a thrill.

3 Comments

3 responses to “New life in the Coop”

  1. avatar Vickie Bates says:

    Peeps!

    Great photos and what fun to have little chicks running around a farm. Their feathers are such a lovely color, too!

    • avatar Marcelo says:

      I’ve got 2 RI Reds that are 26 weeks now and laying daily. They free range the yard durnig the day and come back to roost in the evening. I’ve only had them for 6 weeks, and now I’ve got 15 new chicks that have grown to a little over 3 weeks old.In another week or so the chicks will be ready to go outside to the coop and run since they’re feathering out nicely and I’ll be ready to take back my garage!I think I can net off a portion of the run (VERY secure from other animals entering from outside or above) for the chicks so I can keep everyone on the right kind of chick food and layer food. The reds need the nesting boxes in the coop to lay so I shouldn’t get them all into the coop yet right?Do you think evening temps in the 60 s will be OK for the younger chicks? Daytime temps have been in the 80 s and 90 s so it’s the nights and inclement weather that worries me about them being out in the run all the time.It’s my understanding that the chicks need chick food until 9 weeks and then grower food until 19 weeks. That seems like forever if they have to be separated!

      • avatar Trueheart Vineyard says:

        Hi Marcello! Thank you for the comment!

        Technically, yes, you’re right about the different nutritional requirements for a chick versus a pullet. But they will be fine overall if you let them all run together on one food (as long as the granular size is small enough for the little chicks to eat, and they can reach the feeder). The evening temps in the 60’s will be OK for the younger chicks, but we think it would be better to let all the chickens go in and out as they please. At night, all the birds will seek a roost, which you should provide inside. The only thing you really need to worry about when you combine birds of varying ages is whether or not the big chickens are picking on the little ones. They can be pretty nasty, but Rhode Island Reds are not known for being bad, so you shouldn’t have a problem. A peck here or there is fine, but watch that the older chickens are not really trying to harm the little ones, as then you will need to separate them. By the way, I called on my chicken-expert brother-in-law Doug (in Portland) for help on answering your inquiry!

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