Monday, 19 April 2010

Time to Start "Chick Watch"

According to our calendar the first batch of chicks are due any day now so I've been out and checked on all of our "Soon to be mums" today. Our broody bantam hen is still happily sitting on her eggs although we aren't entirely sure how many are there now. She's seems well but it does worry me that she decided the eaves of the barn were a good place to nest!

There are 2 turkeys trying to incubate one clutch of eggs and another sitting on a second batch of eggs this morning, although she may move off them later in the day. Only the layers are not trying to hatch babies yet this year and they're all happy scratching around and doing what chickens do. Maybe I'll try to get another of the bantam hens to sit on layers eggs to get some larger chickens. I'm probably going to have to give some bantam chicks away - although they're nice, quite decorative and friendly we really don't need any more. So if you want some small ornamental chickens please let me know.

I find that after the chicks are hatched the easiest way to ensure most of them reach adulthood is to take them away from their parent, put them in a large box with a heat lamp, water and food and keep them warm for a couple of weeks. Then they usually go outside into a pen away from the other birds until they're large enough to start integrating with their respective flock. Other people may have more success leaving things alone and letting them be raised by mum but we find that we often lose them before they're 3 weeks old.

I've done a spot of weeding today but the weather isn't great and has been trying to rain for most of the day. Yesterday I got some more seeds put in pots and also planted some ginger. It's the first time I've really tried growing ginger so we'll see what happens, I'm really curious to see what the foliage looks like. Are you growing anything you haven't tried before?

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