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Broody in November??

10 Nov

The nights are drawing in…

Leaves are showing the golden shades of Autumn and dawn brings a chill to the air.

So I hear myself say…

“How is it I have 2 broody pekins in November?”

 

Dom Perignon who is only 8 months old has layed well this Summer. She is a light buff pekin quite champagne like in colour, daughter to Lemony Splicket and Zippy. She is already showing similarities to her mother. Dom even sounds like her mother. She has been broody now for a couple of weeks despite the weather turning quite cold!

Bluey, the sweet little splash pekin is also fancying her chances of a winter hatch. This is her 2nd time of broodiness this year but sadly again, there are no fertile eggs under her. Maybe next Spring will see her mothering her newly hatched chicks…

 

I am so wanting chicks for Christmas

I am so wanting chicks for Christmas

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Bungles Chicks – 4 weeks old!

4 Aug

Bungle, the millefleur pekin hen is doing a splendid job bringing up her 4 week old little chicks.

It’s the most amazing experience watching your broody hen raise little chicks. From the day you put those precious little eggs under your broody to the day those little ones peep from under mum’s feathers to say hello to the big wide world is a miracle and fills your heart with delight!

So far, I have had 100% fertility and hatch rate out of my own eggs. Not bad at all I don’t think but really I need to say thank you to Mr Lemony Splicket and all my little hennies for doing such a wonderful job at creating such wonderful little chicks.

Raising chicks under a broody hen seems better for the little chicks too. They seem to develop much quicker, learn all the tricks of the trade from their wonderful mum and seem to make good healthy strong girls and boys and you don’t have to worry about that heat lamp! Mum does all the temperature gauging! Just fresh water with a little apple cider vinegar (helps prevent coccidiosis which can be a killer in chicks), a good healthy chick crumb (I feed garvo mini pellets which can be fed until laying) and clean dry bedding is all you need to think about when you have a broody hen taking care of you little precious chicks.

Here are some pictures of my recent hatched chicks. Sometimes, if the weather allows, Bungle loves to take them on a guided tour around the garden but I have to watch them…little chicks are very quick and quite flighty. Mum is never far away however. She has certainly disciplined her chicks very well!

 

You may see from the pictures that it looks like Mr Lemony Splicket has given us 1 little girl and 3 little boys!

Hopefully I have found a loving home for the little lady but I am seeking 3 loving homes for the baby Splicket Juniors if anyone is interested?

If you are serious then please take a look at the ‘Own Your Own Goofy Chicken‘ page

Bungle hatches her first Chicks!

6 Jul

Congratulations to Bungle, the millefleur pekin who

successfully hatched 4 pekin chicks on 4th July!

Bungle began showing signs of broodiness on 17th May and it was clear those powerful hormones had taken over and this little lady was not going to give in until she had some fertile eggs placed under her!

A broody hen is a very determined hen. Her behavior can sometimes dramatically change from a sweet little angel to a squawking  and shrieking little terror, raising her tail and fluffling out her feathers should you attempt to go anywhere near her. She also spends hours in the nest box, making sure no other hen can enter to try and lay an egg. She lies flat like a pancake, her eyes focused as though in a trance. And worst of all, a broody hen will  most likely stop laying any tasty eggs for you! I have had 2 different experiences with 2 different  kinds of broodies.  Zippy was a very placid and gentle broody whereas Bungle was the terror broody!

"How much longer do I have to wait?"

Zippy, ‘The Determined but Placid  Broody Hen’

 

After many desperate attempts to try and break Bungle’s broodiness,  I finally realized that the hens have beaten me again…

I made up a soft straw nest in our rabbit hutch, perfect for a broody to sit on eggs in peace. Bungle was placed in the hutch for a couple of days with some pot eggs to see if she would settle which she did without a doubt.  Around tea-time on 13th June, I carefully put 4 eggs under Bungle.  These had been laid previously by Kojak, the buff pekin, the father being the one and only Lemony Splicket of course!

 

 

Bye Bye Ducklings!

24 Jun

It’s been rather a busy time of late here at the Goofy Chicken HQ. A couple of weeks ago, we said farewell to our 2 Runner ducklings which were reared by our broody pekin hen, Zippy.

Zippy’s adopted ducklings have grown twice her size and she was getting rather tired of being drenched by the little dabblers! Fortunately, for Zippy, the Runners have moved into their new home complete with a much larger and deeper paddling pool to dabble and play in. They love it and the owners apparently have great fun trying to get them into their coop for bedtime…

After all the worry over the  young Runners becoming too attached to their mummy Zippy, all has turned out well. There is only just one last thing to mention and that is how well the adorable Zippy did raising these ducklings, bless her! Well that’s pekin bantams for you…they make the most wonderful and loving mothers of all.

Here are some reminder pictures of Zippy and her adopted young, always close by.

 

 

 

Zippy and Ducklings have fun outside!

26 May

The little Runner Ducklings are growing at an incredible rate!

Today saw some glorious sunshine and it is time to let the little ones and Mummy Zippy out into the sunshine for some fun!

I think Zippy is grateful she can get a little break as these fast growing ducklings are quite a handful!

 

 

Zippy’s little ducklings!

25 May

Zippy the pekin hen has taken to motherhood once again like a duck to water!

This time, instead of brooding chicks, she is brooding 2 sweet little runner ducklings who hatched out last Saturday. Already the ducklings are growing fast and Zippy is wondering why her little ones are determined to splash everywhere, getting her and themselves wet through!

However, she is such a loving and caring mummy that she welcomes them back under her warm feathers to dry off.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=M-sw38esupk

 

 


 

 

 

 

 

Hatching Ducklings – Day 28!!!!

18 May

The day has finally arrived!!

4 weeks has gone by since we put the Runner Duck eggs in the incubator…

Just 4 weeks to go!

 

We candled the eggs at 2 weeks and found that only 4 were fertile.

On the eve of hatching day, a tiny pip appeared in one of the eggs…

 

Tiny pip, bottom right

 

The hours passed and the little crack became much bigger…

 

“Im a CUTE Duckling,
Let me out of here!!”

 

At 8.30am on Saturday 18th May, a cute little Runner Duck entered the world!

He was very sleepy (just like me) and a little out of puff after all that hard work but nevertheless, he was enjoying the warmth of the incubator and having a little snooze to recover! What a little cutie!!

 

Hello Little One!

 

A second egg out of the four had also began to pip. A good few hours passed and I started to worry. But by 3.00pm, the 2nd Runner Duckling had hatched!!! Yay!!!!

 

Little Sweeties!

 

Throughout the day, I have wondered backwards and forwards into the house to see if I can see any sign from the last remaining 2 eggs. Unfortunately, no sign of pipping can be seen. I turn the humidity up a touch and my fingers are tightly crossed.

Sometimes eggs can hatch late. I am not going to give up yet. There is still time. But for now, I have to give my 2 new little babies a nice warm, safe place where they can start their new life.

Zippy, the pekin hen, has been broody for 2 weeks. She has been sitting on 3 pot eggs, determined that these precious eggs which she has tenderly nurtured and loved will hatch into little chicks and grow strong and healthy. My hopes are to place the little ducklings under Zippy where she will bring them up and love them as though they are her own chicks. I just hope she does not notice they look slightly different to the chicks she has brooded in the past!

Tonight, at 9.30pm, I gently take out the 2 little ducklings from the incubator, placing the lid back on quickly to prevent too much humidity loss in hope the last 2 eggs hatch at a later date.  The little ones are strong and eager to see what is going on around them!

 

We’re off to meet our new Mummy!

 

C’mon We’re ready to go!!

 

Carefully, I reach in to take out an egg from under Zippy…

She has hidden them well and it’s difficult to find them at first. I feel I am being too slow and Zippy pecks me in disagreement that I am trying to touch her eggs. Finally I manage to collect all 3 pot eggs. I then gently lift the first little duckling and place it close to Zippy, trying to coax the little one to go under her tummy to keep warm. Zippy pecks in disagreement again and I worry she is not going to accept the newly hatched ducklings.

Clucking and pecking the little ones head, I wonder whether to take the duckling away from Zippy but I wait and watch, hoping that this will be ok.

Then, I  notice she is not actually pecking in aggression but instead is trying to pull the duckling towards her. The duckling is being a little slow and not sure what to do but Zippy is persistent and insists the little one must behave and get under her tummy where it is nice and warm. I continue with the 2nd duckling and the same scenario happens. Finally, after a little shuffling and grumbling, all goes quiet in the nest.

I go back after half an hour to check on the new mum and her babies…

All is quiet. Zippy is asleep and the ducklings are warm under her.

Now all I can do is try and get some sleep and prey that all is well.

Tomorrow, as the sun rises for a new day, I just know I will be up with the dawn chorus to check on how these little ones are doing!

Fingers crossed. I will keep you posted!!

 

 

 

 

 

Zippy’s Going QUACKERS!!

14 May

Zippy, my sweet buff Pekin wishes for little chicks again…

I tried to see if I could stop her broodiness as you can see but Zippy got the better of me again!

A week has gone by since  and the determination on her little face is increasing day by day as she nestles on some little pot eggs which I finally decided to place under her. Little does she know however the plan I have in store for her!

Day 24!

 

Sitting in my incubator are 5 potential Runner Ducklings waiting for day 28 to arrive. Zippy will have been sitting on her pot eggs for about 2 weeks when the ducklings finally hatch this Saturday, 18th May.

I am hoping to introduce the ducklings very carefully one by one at night when all is dark and quiet. I shall gently take out a pot egg from under Zippy, replacing it with a cute fluffy duckling until all ducklings are snuggled under their new mummy.

Broody bantams can raise ducklings well. It can, however, be quite alarming for the Mother Hen when her little cuties rush over to plunge themselves in water for their first swim! It will certainly be a challenge to see what Zippy makes of her new arrivals this weekend! A close and watchful eye will certainly be needed to make sure the new mummy welcomes her little brood of ducklings and cares for them like her own!

I am hoping she will not notice they look slightly different to the brood of chicks she raised so brilliantly in the past!

I do know one thing, these little Runner Ducklings will adore their mother if all goes to plan!

 

Good Luck Zippy!!

 

 

Hatching Chick!

5 Apr

Hatching Chick – Cheeks

Well the little chicks are a week old today and they are already growing well!

The weather has been really cold here so it has been an ongoing battle to maintain the temperature in the brooder. I have been up and down all nights to check  it’s not too hot or not too cold! I feel like I am a Mummy again!

Today I have removed their towels now their little legs are getting stronger and put down some cozy chick bedding which they like to scratch in very much!

The pekins are very playful! They remind me of Lemony Splicket when he was a tiny chick! I cannot tell which are cockerels and which are hens yet!

We have named the favorelles chick, Cheeks! I think you will see why at the end of the video. She is so sweet. She had such a struggle hatching, I was very worried she wasn’t going to make it. But, this little chick is a true survivor and watching her hatch was very special.

I hope you enjoy the video. Unfortunately, it does not play on mobile devices due to Copyright issues but I am working on a solution!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VoG9i4ZcKYA

 

Day 21 – Hatching Day!!

28 Mar

CHICKS ARE HERE!!!!!!

CHICKS ARE HERE!!!!!!

Congratulations to the proud parents! Lemony Splicket and Zippy have had their first 2 little chicks!

Today they hatched at approximately 9.30am, being day 21. They are sweet and mischievous, typical pekins!!

The favorelles egg hatched too at about 8.30pm this evening. She went through quite a long ordeal trying to break her shell.

Exhausted and tired from a long hard day and night, I’m off to bed now!!!

Tomorrow the chicks will be fluffed and ready to go in their brooder!

  Some pics to keep you going…..