I had always expected a young hen to plan her new family in the spring, allowing her young to develop in the warm weather with a bounty of food to forage. But my chickens outright refused to become moms this previous spring. It is possible they were still too young. I accepted that and moved on.
So as you can imagine, I was very surprised when two mornings ago I went out to the coop to let them out in and one of my beautiful white hens was atop a pile of eggs, fluffed up and cooing away. She had the look of a proud (and already exhausted) expectant mother. Hmmm, I had given up home of hatching chickens any way other than using an incubator.
I am not exactly equipped to host a small army of baby chicks. Especially as the summer is slipping away so quickly here. At this point, the chicks would be due to arrive the second week of September which is already getting cooler here in Ontario. After that, It will be another 3 months until they are growing their adult feathers and able to keep during the winter months. So, just about in time for Christmas. Sheesh. We are really cutting it close here.
I’m not too sure we are ready for more chickens but she looks so happy chattering away to the eggs. I’ll ask Jonny. Surely he will snap me back to the realities of having more mouths to feed…
Nope, he thought it was awesome. Sometimes he really surprises me. His practical dutch-money-saving mindset didn’t kick in this time. He tells me all the reasons it will work. “We have heat lamps already” he says. “We can always sell off some of the chicks after hatching if there are too many for us”. “It doesn’t even get cold until after Christmas”. “The new chicks will be laying by spring this way”.
True. True. True. Also true… fine! Don’t take me for being disappointed. What I want more than anything is a bunch of fuzzy little chicks running around my yard and learning what the good life on a farm really is. The last chicks I bought so they had no mother on site. I’m curious about the interaction between the mothers and the chicks. How motherly are chickens? I suppose this is just the next obvious step to becoming more sustainable. It seems silly to order chicks in when I have hens and a roo on site.
Will will keep you update over the coming weeks! Wish me luck!
*** Update- see my Week 2 update! ***