Tuesday, August 2, 2016

Chick Update

Mama Hen stayed on the nest long enough to hatch two of the ten eggs she had been sitting on.  The second chick was actually hatched by another hen who has been tag-teaming with Mama, because Mama had already relocated to the hen house floor with chick number one.  The second chick peeped away from the nesting box for awhile and then made its way to the floor where it joined Mama and the other chick.  We tossed the remaining unhatched eggs and the empty egg shells from the two chicks, one a dark brown egg and the other green, into the garbage can.

We know that one chick is half Cuckoo Maran and the other is half Araucana.  We don't know which rooster is the dad but if I had to guess I would say the Cuckoo Maran's father is Calvin, a barred rock.  He's second in command and the two Cuckoo Maran hens belong to him.  The other ten or eleven hens (I lose count) belong to Lord Byron, a Blue Andalusion.  If either of these chicks are hens, it will be fun to see what color egg they lay.  The Cuckoo Maran chick will be some shade of brown since mom lays chocolate brown eggs and Calvin's breed lays large light brown eggs.  The Araucana chick will be more interesting since mom lays greenish-blue eggs and Lord Byron's breed lays white eggs.

Mama Hen is turning out to be an excellent mother.  She rests in the shavings on the hen house floor with the chicks tucked under her wings.  They come out to eat and drink, under her careful supervision, and then scoot back underneath her.  Most of the time, the chicks are out of sight but every once in awhile we see them.  Mama Hen coos and clucks to her little brood and glares at any other hens that dare to come close.  They have been giving her a wide berth.  Both of our roosters are very protective of their hens so I don't think she will have any trouble from the rest of the flock.

I'm hoping that our little family ventures out more soon so I can share pictures with you.  The Cuckoo Maran chick is black with a little white spot on her head and the other is black, with no spot.


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