It's been a pretty exciting week here for the kids. Not only is it the Easter school holidays, but we also got to watch our first lot of baby chickens hatch! Kind of fitting actually... you know, eggs, easter, transformation, new life...you get my drift ;-)
Anyway, Hei-Hei, our plymouth x wyandotte hen has been clucky on and off since november last year. So this last time I noticed her sitting on the eggs, I decided to let her have 3 to incubate and tried to get the other hens to lay in the other nesting boxes. Well she had other ideas and by the time the first egg hatched, there were 16 eggs under her! She'd been stealing other eggs without me noticing. And all at different times of her sitting on the nest.
It takes roughly 21 days for an egg to develop into a chicken and hatch. I knew many of the eggs hadn't been under her that long and I wasn't sure how long she would continue to sit once the first one had hatched. So we just watched and waited. Each day for 6 days, a new chicken hatched. By then mama chook had had enough and started taking the babies out of the nest.
So we have 6 baby chicks, 4 black and 2 yellow. They are super cute and growing by the day. Millie our dog has taken guardianship and likes to keep watch of the babies which is also super cute.
With so many predators around - snakes, hawks, goannas, eagles etc. - I'm trying not to get attached and let nature do what nature does but I must admit, it really is a sweet sight to see mama chook with her babies scratching around in the sunshine.
As for the remaining 10 eggs, Issy and I tried to save them by putting them in a basket in a small room warmed by a heater but after 3 days with no success we conceded that they must have gone too cold the day Hei-Hei left the nest so we pulled the plug (the heater plug that is).
So here are our 6 babies...Hoping for hens but past experience has prepared me for the possibility of many roosters - eek! Lucky my neighbours are nice!!