Look!! A baby chick hatched! We are so excited – we have a white bantam hen that started to roost and lay on eggs. And I will be honest – we had no idea what we were doing. This is our first time ever having chickens and this white hen is the first hen we ever had that wanted to actually sit on eggs. All of our other hens were quite content to lay eggs and then run off and play all day long.
Before we discovered Snow White’s affinity for sitting on eggs, we had one large box that all the hens shared. We would go out to the hen house and pick up 3-4 eggs every day. The reason they shared a box is because at first we only had two hens that we knew were laying eggs. Then Fall and cooler weather came and we thought they would stop laying. But then two more hens started to lay and before we knew it four hens were sharing one box!
I started to notice one of the hens was pushing the white hen out of her box so she could lay an egg in it. That is when we gave Snow White her own box in a protected corner, so she can sit on her eggs in peace. But we also didn’t mark the eggs…another rookie mistake. So we don’t know how old the eggs are or even whose they are!
We are totally doing this better next time…
But look at the picture above. The hen knows which eggs are good and which are bad. She has slowly separated the eggs, one by one. We will even find eggs rolled out of her box. I don’t know why she rejects these eggs….I don’t have the heart/guts/desire to crack the eggs and inspect them.
She is mothering this baby chick though, and it is cute! We go out to see it and it sleeps under the mama hen, staying cozy warm. Since we bought hens for eggs and education, I decided to finally purchase a book that will help me. My amazing friend Angela England wrote “Backyard Farming on an Acre (more or less)” and I just received it from Amazon.com today! In it she has lots of info about chickens and best hen house tips and practices.
I really wonder if those other eggs will hatch…I hope so!