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My teenage son once witnessed a hawk snatching a pullet right out of our pasture.😡
We have never had hawk trouble until this spring. We had small hawks - Coopers hawks, I believe - killing chickens and guineas. The hawks probably weigh less than my birds, so they couldn't carry them away. They would kill my birds, then sit on the ground to eat them...right in the yard! I put up some owl decoys, and that seems to have stopped the hawk trouble, at least for now.
 

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So my mama duck has already taken the babies out of the yard into one of the horse pastures. I found one baby in the yard (maybe it got squished under mama?) where they were huddled last night. Then after looking around a bit I saw her out in the pasture. Found another soggy little baby in the creek 😓
I did get a count on the babies she has with her tonight and it’s 17. So hopefully my guess was off yesterday and she didn’t lose 10 babies today! I checked her nesting site and there wasn’t a single egg left I hatched.
She took them back into the yard tonight and they were huddled in the same spot as yesterday so they should be safe for the night.
No new clutches hatched yet.
Bird Ecoregion Plant Beak Grass
 

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@Cedarwinds Farm Those chicks are so cute! How old are they now?

@Boer Mama That is a beautiful picture!
That's a great question, and I did not mark it on my calendar, like a diligent chicken farmer should. But according to my old posts on this thread, the first egg pipped on the 30th. The others hatched about 2-3 days afterward. So the chicks are roughly 10 days - 2 weeks old.
 

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Ok, so I brought home chicks a week ago. They are 4 silver laced Wyandottes and one chocolate Orpington (all unsexed). Two female Norwegian Jaerhons died within the first 24 hours. I don’t know why.
I went with the outdoor brooder that is within my chicken coop. The heat source is a mama heating cave.
This was the first day
Bird Chicken Beak Galliformes Phasianidae


Wood Gas Audio equipment Hat Metal


Adults and chicks can see and hear each other. Apparently it helps with integrating them earlier and more smoothly.
Mesh Fence Pet supply Wire fencing Gas



And this was yesterday
Bird Beak Feather Ducks, geese and swans Livestock


This one is the chocolate Orpington, I think
Grass Terrestrial animal Wood Soil Paw


It will be interesting to see how many hens I get. I am planning to keep one rooster, if there is a friendly one. To replace my old rooster. Is it too much to wish for 4 hens and one roo? 😛
 

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Cute chicks! I about had a heart attack this morning. Momma hens took the 8 chicks outside. I was hoping they would stay inside longer. The last egg never hatched and today was the day both hens decided they were done just sitting. It has been 24 days since I candled and marked the eggs. So 8 out of 10 hatched.
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Cute chicks! I about had a heart attack this morning. Momma hens took the 8 chicks outside. I was hoping they would stay inside longer. The last egg never hatched and today was the day both hens decided they were done just sitting. It has been 24 days since I candled and marked the eggs. So 8 out of 10 hatched. View attachment 229604
Those will be some well-protected chicks with 2 moms looking after them!
 

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[mention]Cedarwinds Farm [/mention]The chicks are are growing fast! They are pretty neat looking little chickies.

[mention]Boer Mama [/mention] I’m sorry about the few lost ducklings. They are adorable. But what a good job mama is doing taking care of that many!

[mention]MadHouse [/mention] Your chicks are so cute! I love that mama cave. And letting the bigs and littles live together while safely divided, worked well for me when I brought young ones in. It made the eventual transition to living as one cohesive flock much easier. I hope you get the roo / hen ratio you’re hoping for.


[mention]ksalvagno [/mention] The mamas are watching their littles closely! The chicks seem so tiny to be out and about already. Do any other chickens or animals try to go after them? Or are the moms able to handle keeping them all away?

[mention]Tanya [/mention] That is too funny! Kleintjie has the best of both worlds.



I just got back from a few days being gone for wedding. The poults are about 2 weeks old now, all except one that hatched 4 days ago, the day before I left. I found it when I was cleaning the turkey coop, still wet from hatching, flat on it’s back, cold to the touch, but still sort of breathing. I put it in a box under a heat lamp. I probably should have put it out of its misery. While rushing to get ready to leave, we built a brooder for it and set up the brooder radiant heat plate. It couldn’t walk right, so I used vet wrap to make a hobble for it. When we left, I didn’t think it’d make it, but it did. And it can walk great now. Poor tiny thing is lonely though. I take on visits out to the turkey pen. I thought my poults were small until I put Little Bit with them. He just can’t keep up though. I will give him visits during the day until I know he’ll be warm and strong enough. He doesn’t know all the signals the three hens give, freeze, get down, come under me - nope, he just wanders around during those times. He definitely can’t live full time with them yet. But I’m glad he can walk now and get to learn how to be a turkey. When he couldn’t walk right, the other poults would attack him, but now that he walks fine, they don’t seem to mind that he’s half their size.
 

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OMG. Little Bit is too adorable! I have to watch out for the barn cats. They discovered the chicks and are very interested. I blocked off places they could get through but I guess they could climb the fence if they really wanted to.
And I thought it was hard making sure the chickens couldn’t get to the poults. Cats are so hard to keep out of things. Between having to climb the fence and take on two mamas, hopefully they’ll decide the chicks aren’t worth it.


@FizzyGoats kleintjie is very spoilt. He thinks he is human.

Little bit looks so good. I am so happy he made it. Was he not a lat lay?
He is so funny and a beautiful little guy.

16 poults hatched out of two clutches two of the hens were laying on. Then one hen left her clutch to come be with the babies and hens. Little Bit is from that abandoned clutch that was only laid on periodically after that. I have no idea how he hatched alive. Then how he survived his first few hours.

And today, a hen stepped on him. He couldn’t even cheep. I had to run in there and grab him. It wasn’t mean. She just wasn’t paying attention. They are out of their super careful mothering stage and on to the one where it’s the baby’s job to get out of the way but poor Little Bit isn’t there yet. I put him back in his brooder for a while. He’ll get visit during the day but live in the brooder until he can keep up.
 
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