Friday, May 25, 2012

On Raising Little Chickens

or not.
Since raising and birthing little humans just seems too controversial for my delicate sensibilities, I suppose I will stick to talking about raising little critters for now.

or in this case, not raising them.

We have a couple of hens content to sit on their own nests, or rather the fertilized eggs of all of the other chickens.

We have raised chicksbefore,but there is something incredibly special about watching chickens raise the chicks themselves.

Thanks to human intervention, few breedsof chickens are actually known to habitually raise their own chicks. Try a Google search on " which breeds of chicken raise their own chicks" or any combination of search phrases concerning why they don't or how they do it, and you come up with breed lists, exlaining the key attributes of the major breeds....and only one of them is known for raising their own chicks.

Interestingly, that breed, the Buff Orpington, makes up the majority of our flock for just that reason.....
but it's this funny little Amercauna, a breed created by humans for their colorful eggs, that is out chief Mama in the hen yard.
 The other little layer is some kind of black She was bequeathed to us in The Great Chicken Trade, with no information other than that they call her Little Black, and she likes to lay on eggs.

What was not mentioned is that for as much as she likes to set up house, she has no patience for chicks. She has smothered or pecked every single chick she has hatched....

So we are debating taking the rest of the clutch she has claimed and trying to raise them ourselves.

With The Captain being so fresh out of the womb and all, I am not really into this idea, but after the Dachshund massacre, we really need to replenish our flock. Maybe I can engineer some kind of baby swap,and but the rest of "her" eggs (remember these have been laid by all of our hens, and claimed by just these two) and give them to the Good Little Mother.

Gee, that sounds awful. Like, who are we to judge someones parenting abilities, taking their children away and giving them to someone we deem better....but since in this case, her parenting deficits DO actually lead to the deaths of her children....I feel like we are justified.

Anyhow, The Good Little Mother is currently raising a set of twins that appear to be full blooded Buff Orpington. We are very much enjoying watching her lead them around the hen yard would be just our luck for them to both turn out to be little roosters :D

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