Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Broody Hen Timeline

I thought it would be useful to have a timeline of my broody silkie, Fluffy, raising her chicks.

  • Day 1-3 - Fluffy acting broody and sleeping in the nesting box.  Gave her two fake eggs.
  • Day 4 (at night) - put Fluffy in a cardboard box in a dog kennel with two fake eggs.  She settled right in.
  • Day 7 - gave her real hatching eggs
Starting the count over from when she got her eggs
  • Day 1-19 - sat on eggs.  threw her off the nest once a day to run around and relieve herself.
  • Day 19 - stopped taking fluffy off the nest
  • Day 20 - two eggs hatched
  • Day 21 - final egg hatched
Starting count over from when the first chicks hatched
  • Day 1-3 - Fluffy still in hatching mode.  She did cluck to chicks.  I could hear the chicks, but saw no sign of them unless I lifted her up.
  • Day 3 - Fluffy clucking to the chicks encouraging them to eat mash that I put in the nest.
  • Day 4 - Fluffy took the chicks out of the nesting box to eat at the chick feeder.
  • Week 2- Fluffy took the chicks out of their pen to go play outside. Chicks have about half their wing feathers and are getting tail feathers.
  • Week 5 - chicks and Fluffy moved to box in run.  Protected from big chickens by plastic fence.
  • Week 7 - barrier removed so chicks and big chickens can mingle.  Fluffy done caring for chicks.
  • Day 52 (7 weeks 2 days) - Fluffy and chicks roosting in the coop.
  • Week 11 - one chick started to crow. Rehomed
  • Week 13 - chicks starting to bawk instead of peep.  Chicks mostly hang out on a high perch we put up in the run.  (The bigger chickens don't usually go up there.)
Other dates that might be useful:
2.5 weeks - age when chicks were using a ramp up to the brooder coop just fine.  They might have been able to do it sooner, but I didn't trust them before then.

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