Eggciting Times!

Where does the time go? April definitely seems like one of the busiest months of the year for us.

It seems so long ago since we were first getting the spring bunting out and baking for the arrival of the lambs and chicks.

A quick little bug hotel project underway by one of our students

When you have plenty of nesting boxes but all the hens decide they want to try and sit in the same one to lay their eggs.

We werent very successful with the first batch of quail eggs we tried to incubate, but we are trying again and currently have the incubator full with nearly 40 eggs.

As well as incubating our own eggs. We had a couple of our Barnevelders go broody. Most people try and stop their hens from doing this as they stop laying eggs during this time. So no poached eggs on toast for us for breakfast. But we decided to just let them sit and see if they would hatch their own. Something we didn’t know at this point is that broodiness is also contagious, and soon we had most of the flock trying to sit on their eggs.

3 Weeks later and we have 4 baby chicks. We were going to take a hands off approach with these little ones, letting nature and the mother hen figure things out. Unfortunately we lost a couple over the first night, we dont know why they didnt survive, but the remaining two are now going strong.

It has been interesting comparing the natural born chicks to our own incubated chickens. The mum takes them out of the coop after the first couple of days to start finding food and water, and showing them how to drink. Even in the pouring rain they dart about finding shelter under mum when they need it. With the incubated chicks, we keep them sheltered under a heat lamp for around 6 weeks before slowly introducing them to the flock, where there are inevitably arguments to figure out the new pecking order. With natural born chicks they seem like they are already fully integrated and the rest of the flock looks out for them.

Thats all for now folks. Hopefully we’ll have some updates on the quails shortly and our sunflower growing competition!

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