Sunday, 23 May 2010

New arrivals

Our Welsummer hen has been broody for a while and sitting tight on six eggs for the last three weeks.  A hen sits for twenty one days so I had been expecting the eggs to begin to hatch tomorrow.  This afternoon I was out in the kitchen garden inspecting the growth of the gooseberries as an alternative to doing anything more strenuous in the blue, still heat, when I heard a cheeping.  At first I thought it was a bird in the hedge but when I stood very still it seemed to be coming from the henhouse.

We went over for a look.  When we lifted the lid the hen was still sitting with the familiar spread wings.  The cheeping fell silent.  Ian gently lifted her to have a look.  The first thing we saw was a couple of empty eggshells and then a tiny yellow chick, already beginning to fluff out.

Moving her again there was another chick, this one still wet and flat and two more empty eggshells along with the two eggs yet to hatch.  The nesting box she was in sits a little higher than the main body of the henhouse and two tiny chicks had fallen out an inch or two down into the main house.  We gathered them up and put them back with the mother.  Then Ian blocked the entry and put her back on the eggs and chicks.  Tomorrow we shall move them all into the main house.

 Chicks are just impossibly perfect.  Another one has hatched tonight.  Tomorrow I shall get some better pictures!

21 comments:

  1. Many congratulations on your little new arrivals. They are beautiful Elizabeth.

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  2. How wonderful! Thanks for the great pics!

    Bear and I saved a baby cardinal in our yard today... put him up in a high shrub where the neighborhood cats couldn't get at him, and where his anxious parents could reach him to feed him up.

    Love baby birds of all kinds! Aren't they just precious?

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  3. How absolutely wonderful to be able to share these pictures and moments with you.

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  4. Gorgeous little balls of fluff. Lucky that you rescued the chicks in time.

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  5. Congratulations!

    Isn't it wonderful how they accomplish all this with no fuss whatsoever - apart from bursts of very understandable clucking? I'm sitting here looking at an incubator which is temperature and humidity controlled. Does Mrs Hen fuss about all that?

    Having just run around trying to get hens into a house I'm not sure why I'm even contemplating adding to the flock.

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  6. Elizabeth - finding those little chicks - that is what I call joy! They are beautiful.

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  7. Delightful! Reading your blog is like stepping into a book. A life more removed from mine, I couldn't imagine

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  8. Perfection is a sweet way to describe those lovely little balls of fluff.

    There is nothing like a well ordered chicken house, with families coming and going and eggs being produced on a comfortable scale!

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  9. We used to leave ours to just get on with it. Suddenly they would appear from a corner of the huge stone barn and surprise us with their brood. They used to show them off with such pride. There's nothing like having a hen and her chicks wandering around the farm.

    It really is spring. Cro.

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  10. Hey Elizabeth, how wonderful to have some little chicks to welcome Spring. They are sooooo cute.
    Once had a broody hen she sat for almost three weeks then got off the nest and that was that. Turned out only one of the eggs was fertilised, so a bit of a shame. Msut have another go and setting some eggs this Spring, would love to hear the cheeping of chicks in the garden.

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  11. They are adorable.

    I would SO love hens

    I bet you are like a mother hen yourself with them!

    warm wishes
    x

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  12. How wonderful! I have always wanted Welsummers, but a baby one, hatched naturally in the henhouse, now that's just fantastic.

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  13. Aaaaaaaaw - warm fuzzies Elizabeth :) Look forward to seeing more of the new arrivals.

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  14. I wish, I wish! Of course, I'll just have to go on wishing if I don't relent and get a rooster!
    Congratulations to Mama Hen and you!

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  15. Such a proud looking Mamma. She is
    so sweet. You must be so happy.
    You can tell that bird is spoiled.. Yvonne

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  16. Never mind about Kinder Eggs , there's always something miraculous about a "wind-up and go" fluffy chicken coming out of an egg .

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  17. Oh how gorgeous Elizabeth! Our duck is sitting on her nest again and has actually stayed there this time so I am ever hopeful. x

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  18. I just love it when the chicks start to hatch, the anticipation then the beauty of them, the smallness and utter delicacy. Makes a day just perfect!

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  19. Gorgeous chicks Elizabeth. Enjoy!

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  20. How lovely! Congratulations on your new arrivals. I hope they're doing well. I love Welsummers, such handsome birds.

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