chicken day today

I've been putting it off as long as I can, because I've been so busy with everything else. Today I finally had to start the new chicken tractor...our chicken population went up by a few today! When our Buff Orpington hen went broody, we quickly put her in a quiet place in the a dog crate. This way she was safe and secure and alone...exactly what a setting hen wants. Today was the 21st day of her odyssey and sure enough, hatching began. At first this morning, I could hear the muted peeps coming from within the eggs, then holes appeared, then finally some wet, soggy chicks. As I type we have two dried chicks and other eggs with holes. By tomorrow we should have 5 or 6 chicks! I have almost completed the new tractor and sometime tomorrow I will transfer mother and chicks to some fresh clover in the orchard. We can move the tractor every day or so and she will teach them to hunt for food and act like a chicken.

Well, we ended up with only 4 chicks out of the batch. This was not the greatest of successes, but we have 4 more chickens than what we had before so that is a good thing. Mother and babes are at home now in the orchard where she is teaching them to dust bath and peck clover and bugs. Later this summer, when the apples are dropping, they'll eat those up too.