• A Great Chicken Story

    By Jenise Henrikson, May 13, 2015

    Deer Hollow Farm staff built a new chick doorway to view this crafty hen and her chicks.Chicken coop Deer Hollow

    This independent hen made nine daily trips from the chicken coop/yard to the garage, flying over the fence, each day to visit a rooster, then return to her secret roost in the corner of the Farm garage to lay another egg and roost atop them all – until one by one they all hatched within nine days of each other. (It takes about 21 days for an egg to hatch).

    The loud peeps drew the staff, who moved the family into the new Egg Washing Room. This new door they built allows kids of all ages to view the family.

    You can see she is very defensive of her chicks, putting herself between me and her chicks, and spreading her tail like a turkey who’s confronted.

    Chickens lay about one egg a day in their prime. The Farm staff collects the eggs each day for sale, so they don’t get a chance to hatch. A chicken is described as getting “broody” when she wants to roost on her eggs and have chicks.

    The Farm buys chicks in a batch in the Spring each year and raises them separately from the flock, integrating them when they are older. The chicks arrive via a “noisy” special USPS delivery box from a hatchery located in Iowa called Murry McMurray.

    This hatchery is one one of the few places that will sex the chicks so that the Farm ideally ends up with all females (although they are not always 100% accurate, hence the couple of roosters we have.)

    Here is an up close picture of momma chicken and her babies.

    Animals 4-23 025

     

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