Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Chick Experiement

We've had some trials and tribulations with broody hens.  We've had four go broody this spring and only one had a successful hatch, she had 7 eggs and 4 hatched.  That's not great odds.  One had 8 eggs and none hatched, and one had 4 eggs with 1 hatching but only living for 2 days.  The other was too flighty and her's didn't hatch either.

Two of the same hens went broody again (Zorro and Minnie Mouse), so since they were selling chicks at the farm store we decided to try to set some chicks under both of them and see if they would take and the hens end their broodiness.

We got 8 deciding to put 4 under each hen.  We got 2 golden lace wyandotte, 2 RIR, 2 speckled sussex, and 2 silver lace wyandotte.   We were told they are 5 days old.  We picked the smallest ones, thinking from our experience, we would have a better chance of them being female.  The guy at the farm store said they were 95% female.  We'll see.

So we brought them in the house, gave them water and feed and waited until dark. The Spice Girls, Tilly's Nest (in an email message) and Kathy from the Chicken Chick said to place them after dark.  We took them out about 8:30 after everyone settled down.  We took the golf balls out from underneath Zorro and started placing the chicks.  Doug placed them near her rear and each one scooted right under her for warmth.  It was getting a little chilly last night.  Since Minne Mouse was doing her flighty thing, we put all 8 under Zorro.  Zorro's sounds changed dramatically from "keep away" to more soothing  sounds.  Once they were all placed, we stood there for about 10 minutes and waited.  All was quiet.

We went out there this moring to place feed and water for the chicks and everything was still quiet.  We'll get home right after work tonight and check in on them.  I'll keep you posted.

Monday, September 10, 2012

My Design Wall 9-10-12

For the past couple of weeks I've had company.  My daughter and her family came to visit.  They hadn't been here for ten years, since they moved in 2000.  I always go and visit them in Montana but this was especially nice to have them at my home.  We had a great time.

My design wall contains all the finished blocks for Nicole's sofa quilt that Judy at Patchwork Times conducted.  I need to sew the blocks together then add the binding.

Craftsy had a free lesson promotion Saturday.  I signed up for the Creative Quilt Backs put on by Elizabeth Hartman.  I think I may need to incorporate this less on my quilt.

We heard the weather forecast for Monday was rain, so we gathered all our onions and set them on the tables to continue their drying.  I'll need to get them off soon because my tomatoes will be ripening next.  I trimmed back all the unimportant leaves and stems so the romas would start to ripen.  I can't believe I don't have a single ripened tomato yet.
Zorro our black austrathorpe is broody again.  It just so happens our farm store is selling chicks.  I think we are going to get some and see if she'll accept them.  The Chicken Chick has tried it so I think we will also.  I'll keep you updated.  Has anyone tried this?  What's your experience?  Any recommendations?

This post is being linked to Judy's Patchwork Times, Design Wall and Homestead Revival Barn Hop #78