It has been just 2 weeks since I had to adopt 3 ducklings, and the house will never be the same. They follow me everywhere up and down stairs and all around the garden and field beyond. If they lose sight of me the crying they make is awful.
Anyway, this post is about chicks… So, Thursday morning, I get up at 5am. I have a really busy day at work, my other half is away looking after his parents in York. So I have to care for the horses, donkey, chickens, ducks, ducklings and cats as well as water the polytunnel all before work.
So first cup of coffee in hand, I wonder down to the stables to let out the 3 hen huts of chickens. In one of the stables I currently have 23 chicks which were born in April, I open the door and they all come rushing out for the food I am scattering on the floor and all saying hello, leaving an empty stable behind, except it isn’t, there are 2 little pom poms in the middle of the floor! I look closer and they are day old chicks. There is no hen in the stable, after further investigation I find another chick, very cold and weak, but still no mummy and no nest?
I walk out into the stable yard and survey my chickens all eating and scratching around in the dirt, looking none to concerned about anything. Then I spot Jubilee, she is one of my Jubilee Orpington Bantams, and she is looking very sorry for herself. Her comb is pale and fallen to one side and she is stood, not eating. So I usher her into the stable and watch as she runs to her chicks, collects them together and sits on them before they can disappear again.
After further investigation, I find her nest, it is in the top of the barn, above the stable. The 3 chicks have hatched and then trying to get down, have fallen through the roof of the stable and onto the floor with the older chicks, mummy hen must have been hiding up there for 21 days and I have not spotted her!
I collect them all up and have put mummy chicken and her 3 chicks into my nursery pen which keeps them all safe. And thankfully although mum is looking a bit pale, all are doing well.