Monday, April 30, 2012

Baby Chicks

Lucy, our gorgeous Salmon Faverolle hen, went "broody" in March.  She was obsessed with sitting on eggs and trying to hatch them. Without a rooster in the yard, we knew her efforts would be met with failure. After watching her determination, we decided to help her out. A friend donated fertilized eggs, and on March 26, the incubation began.  Lucy faithfully sat on those eggs - leaving the nest only once a day to stretch and grab a bite.  Each day I'd check on things and usually found her with extras. Fortunately, we marked the 6 fertilized eggs and knew which ones didn't belong.  I'm not sure if the other hens were laying them in the nest with her, or if she was stealing them from the other nesting box, but I consistently found 7 or 8 eggs in Lucy's care.

April 14, we noticed a little hole in one of the eggs. We could hear the little baby chirping inside! After about 4 hours - our first little chick, a French Blue Copper Maran, had hatched.  In the morning, we found another freshly hatched babe, and an egg pipping.  We ended up with just 3 out of 6 hatching - but all 3 very healthy.  

If feather-sexing techniques work, we are quite certain they are all girls. Lucky us! Living in the city, we are unable to keep roosters, so any boy babies would have been re-homed after a few weeks.  In a few more weeks, we will know for sure.  Preliminary girl's names have already been chosen - Rose, Donna and Amelia. Yes, Doctor Who fans, these are three of The Doctor's companions. 

It has been fascinating to watch Lucy care for her babies. She's a great mom, and of course, all of this is natural instinct.  

You can watch the series of videos with Donna hatching here: