Chick-vision

Lately we have had a couple of exciting events take place here. Firstly, a few weeks before Christmas, our black silkie hen, Schwarzy, decided she was ready to sit on a nest. Her first nest. Our first nest! I  sourced some fertilised Barnevelder eggs from a friend of my mum's and managed to squeeze 7 of them under her fluffy rump late one night. Gosh, it would have to be the longest three weeks I have ever lived through! 

But then. just a couple of weeks into her 'sitting', one of our Isa Browns decided she too would like to sit as well! 

I couldn't help but oblige her instincts, being kindly passed on some fertile eggs from a veggie group friend. Just half a dozen, enough to satisfy her needs, hopefully. 

Both sets hatched. The Barnevelders hatching four out of the seven eggs and my friend's donation hatching two out of her six...

'Backyard cross' chick, 2 days old
It was a real surprise for me to find that Isa Browns can and do go broody! I didn't hold out much hope for her, figuring her for a fair-weather mother, but she proved me wrong and sat firmly on those eggs for the 21 days, only hopping off for every second day for a snack and a drink (to my knowledge, at least!) and turning them diligently every half an hour! Once the first two chicks had hatched, she sat solid on the remaining four eggs for another day until she must have figured that nothing was coming out of them and off the nest she hopped. With great relief, I imagine - as we had some real scorching weather during her spell. The two little ones clumsily in tow..


Meanwhile, Schwarzy and her Barnevelder brood were growing every day, having hatched a couple of weeks earlier!

Two dark chicks with a stripe down their back and two paler chicks. After some late night googling, I found that some people have experienced the darker ones being hens while the paler ones often seem to be the roosters. Who knows? I think we'll wait and see..

Front - two dark chicks, behind - two paler chicks

They were SOOO cute!!



Barnevelders are primarily a laying breed so we will hopefully have some henny additions to our flock in a few months time. And if there happened to be a handsome rooster catching my eye, it would be fair to say there would be available perch space for him!

The hutch I made is functioning well, especially with the addition of their outside run which gets closed off at night. And Schwarzy is a wonderful mother! It is fascinating to watch instinct in action.

The Barnevelder chicks are growing so fast and no longer resemble the fluffy cuteness they were just a mere three weeks ago. More rather, gawky adolescents growing in their feathers and asserting themselves in play! One could spend hours watching them..and we do.
Barnevelder chick, 3 weeks old
Especially our pooch, who has taken to sitting beside either pen, whichever takes his fancy and tuning into 'chick-vision' for hours at a time. It is a most absorbing channel, quite like nothing we've ever viewed before.

Do you watch chick-vision? 



Comments

  1. No,i dont,but boy do i want to. I cant wait to have some little feathery friends but have a small suburban back yard that doesnt allow for free range. Im told i have enough space for 4 in a coop with a fenced yard. Just waiting for the right time. Enjoy.

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  2. oh yes, I love chick-vision...I have had two lots of day old chicks for my children in the past years....we love them, and they become so attached to the children when there is no mummy hen available to roost on and run behind...they are very amusing and good time wasters... your little chicks are lovely...

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  3. LOVE watching chicks and hens! Only once have I had a hen hatch an egg, but watching that hen raise her single chick really showed me how much I (and presumably the chicks) had missed by going the day-old route. Although day-old chicks are a lot of fun to watch, too! I'm trying to decide whether to order a batch of day-olds come Spring, or to look for a nice rooster...hmmm.

    Thank you so much for visiting my newly "hatched" blog :)

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  4. this is so wonderful, I don't have chickens in my home but will be running the coop at our community centre very soon! We are trying to decide on breeds and numbers now. So looking forward to the journey. :)sarah

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  5. Every time one of mine goes broody for weeks on end I chastise myself for not getting some fertile eggs to put under them. I am definitely going to do it next time because they just want to sit anyway. A couple of my friends have not had much success with Barnvelders for various reasons. Maybe you have done a post before but I was wondering how you find their temperament and robustness?

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    1. I have heard similar from a friend, Tanya. Her Barnevelders hatch well and then at around 4 months of age, become sick or die for no obvious reason... strange. I hope the ones I have are from more robust breeding stock.

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  6. Oh yes, it never ceases to be an attraction. Every single time. Oh so cute

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  7. Your chicks are adorable! I can't wait until I can breed my girls--if ever! What breed is your red hen in the second photo? She looks exactly like my Red Star (sexlink) girls. :)

    I'd love to invite you to share this post, and two others of your choice at the Farm Girl Blog Fest at my blog. Here's a link:
    Farm Girl Blog Fest

    Hope to see you there!
    ~Kristi @Let This Mind Be in You

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    1. Kristi, I have been looking up Red Stars and I believe they are what we call ISA Browns in Australia. I believe ISA Browns are a cross between Rhode Island Reds and Rhode Island Whites. :)

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  8. So cute! An ISA brown who was broody, that really IS interesting! x

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  9. I love chick-vision! My first batch are all grown up now and the two roosters are soon to meet their destiny. But we have our third lot about to hatch too! We've also had ISAs go clucky - they make surprisingly good mums. This year though, our barnevelder cross has say twice, and our pekin bantam once.

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  10. Your chicks are just gorgeous. I love that your dog is watching over them. The last time I held a baby chicken in my hand was at primary school... a good many years ago. I still remember how they smelled. Just beautiful.

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  11. Congratulations on your first hatch! I have 2 Barnevelders that we hatched a couple of years ago and they are still laying well. I read that the females tend to develop wing and tail feathers first and I've been fairly successful at picking the roosters via this method from about four weeks. By 6 weeks the roosters definitely have thicker legs and in the Sussex the legs were a different colour as well. I love the noises the broody makes when she finds a choice morsel and calls her babies to share it.

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    1. Ahh, thankyou Jo, I will definitely be remembering this tip for identifying them and will observe with interest. And it's one of the best sounds in the world, isn't it!

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  12. How wonderful to have such successful hatches!! We love watching the chickens, too - fun and calming at the same time. Enjoy them :)
    -Jaime

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  13. They are just gorgeous, we loved watching them too. How cool that you got a second lot to enjoy on the school holidays. I just love those barnevelder eyes.

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Hi there, so nice of you to stop by! Thanks for sharing your thoughts, I love hearing what you are up to. Christine x

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