I have kept hens for about 5 years now… a motley crew of ex-battery hens and ones that have been donated or chicks I have kept from incubating eggs at school. I have 5 hens and one cockerel. Two of my young bantams have been very broody this year and, despite my best efforts, they were determined to incubate some of the eggs. Knowing there was a good chance that they would be fertile, I decided to let them sit on four. They have been sharing the duties but Beattie (the Frizzle) has done most of the work.
I was sure that the three weeks was up and beginning to think that they were not going to hatch, when I went into remove the newly laid eggs. I was going to remove the eggs if nothing had happened. I looked carefully at the eggs and could see that some of them were starting to pip. I could also hear the chicks inside! Yesterday, two of the eggs hatched and I moved these two chicks to a separate run, with Beattie and left Belinda on the remaining eggs.
With the weather so lovely today, I moved her to a mobile run out on the lawn so she could enjoy the sunshine with her gorgeous babies. Newly hatched chicks have to be one of the most adorable and captivating of young creatures… all of that grew inside an egg in just 3 weeks… it never fails to amaze me! I did some work in the garden today and could not help but stop and watch every time I went past! The way Belinda looks after them and calls them for food, along with the amazing capabilities these chicks have at such a tender age, is astounding. They are searching for food, pecking and drinking and pretty independent… at just 1 day old!
Belinda has hatched one other chick and the last one is on its way. They can then all enjoy the sunshine tomorrow!