Sunday, June 2, 2013

Mama Hen Update #7 - Hospital "Wing"

We now have 3 adorable, fluffy little black chicks!  Here is a picture of #2 shortly after it hatched.  Its eyes are still closed, and it's still sticky and wet.

The egg in front has a pip on the left side. 
We banded Mama with a green zip tie so we will
remember that she has broody tendencies.

These eggs hatched much faster today, I guess they were good and ready!  There are 2 more eggs with "pips" (a little cracked hole where the chick begins its exit from the egg shell), so we may have a few more chicks by tomorrow.

Recent unfortunate circumstances have required us to turn the Egg Cart'n into the Hospital Wing of the chicken yard.  The top floor is the Maternity Ward, and the bottom floor is the Sick Bay. 

All of our hens have been looking terrible lately, with feathers missing from their necks, hips and backs.  From everything I can tell, they are not ill, and do not have mites, but are getting "over mated" by our rooster.  I read that usually a rooster needs 4-8 hens in order to prevent over mating.  We have 19!  This evening I found a hen who was not only missing feathers, but actually missing skin in an area at least an inch in diameter over each hip.  She was immediately removed to the Sick Bay, where we have improvised shelter, roosts, food, water, and (most importantly) quiet for her.  We don't know yet if she will make it, but time will tell.

In the Hospital Wing, while poor Fantine recovers below, new life is arriving upstairs.  We hope everyone makes it in the end.

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