breezy acres tips and tales

Arrival of spring and hatching chicks

By CHELSEA GRASSE
Posted 3/10/21

As spring quickly approaches, there are many things to catch up on with the animals here at our small-scale farm, Breezy Acres. The mucking of pens, trimming of hooves and de-worming of feathered and …

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breezy acres tips and tales

Arrival of spring and hatching chicks

Posted

As spring quickly approaches, there are many things to catch up on with the animals here at our small-scale farm, Breezy Acres. The mucking of pens, trimming of hooves and de-worming of feathered and furry friends alike must be completed.

Something we are very excited about this month, however, is new chicks. Last month, some of our hens got broody, and because we have roosters, the hen’s eggs were fertilized. We allowed the broody chickens to sit on some of the eggs while we collected the rest. Typically, when hens sit on their eggs, they will hatch in about 21 days, so any day now we are expecting babies.

Our babies are usually a mixed breed, as the roosters are Ayam Cemanis, while the hens range from Amaracauna to small Belgium D’uccles. Ayam Cemanis are interesting because, unlike other birds, they have not only black feathers, but their meat, internal organs and feet are black as well. This is caused by hyperpigmentation.

When the babies finally hatch, we separate the mother and babies from the flock and put them in their own hutch with a fenced-in area until the babies are big enough to run free-range with their mom and can return to the flock. The reason for separation is because, sometimes, other hens and roosters will pick on the babies and try to hurt them, so we do this for their safety.

Chick feed and texture vary with different supplements, vitamins and protein depending on the age of the growing chicks. As our chicks grow and age into hens, they are transitioned accordingly so that they can eventually eat the same feed that the roosters and hens are provided.

chickens, spring

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