Emma Birb

Back on August 2nd, I noticed our Emma turkey hen was missing, had been for about 3ish days…and then out of the blue, she popped up out of the former duck yard (which is massively overgrown with weeds).
That’s another one of the shitty things about flooding (aside from all the obvious ones) is that weed seeds come from where ever the water did to establish themselves exactly where you don’t want them…
At least in this case, those giant sumpweed trees (because they really are the size of smaller trees!) have come in handy…but I think I’m gonna burn ’em down this fall.

So I said to the family that I think Emma is broody and has a nest in that yard…Hubby waded into the mess of weeds and, in fact, did find her sitting a nest.
So that was cool.
By that time, she’d been sitting for 3 days. I figured in another 25 or so, we oughta see poults.
And, guess what??
Thursday, 28 days after she’d gone missing she appeared with…

8 poults.
There’s only 7 in the picture because my Kid was cuddling one…baby turkeys are super cute little fuckers, and must be cuddled. 😉

Sure can see that Oscar’s influence on them…Oscar is my auburn tom, Emma is an auburn too…huh, I might be breeding a flock of auburn Narragansetts!
😂😂😂

Now poor 12 and 13 (who are traditional bronze colours) are trying hard af to go broody too.
They really want what Emma has.
But, nope.
Way too late now.
Bad enough that there’s a chicken in the same mess of weeds sitting on a nest of turkey eggs…
I really oughta go in and candle them and see how far along the eggs are.
If they’re not far, I should just take ’em away.
But, poults!
😂😂😂

At least I know that the Oscar Meyer Wiener is doing his job!!

Babies

We have some chickens who insist, and I mean *insist*, that they need to be broody.
Big problem is, we don’t currently have a working rooster.
We lost all our boys over the winter, and none of the oprpingtons or jersey giant boys are ready for working with full sized hens.
Them boys is just too young.
But, one should never let a broody hen go to waste if they can help it.
Last year we had a broody hatch out a dozen ducklings.
So we gave these bitches, who had taken over the cat house from the cats on the deck, duck eggs.

Now, every couple of days I go in and look for chicken eggs and take those away.
Because…egg bombs are gross.
I had found a duck egg with a huge peck/crack in it, so I took it away…only to crack it and find a baby (still breathing) in it.
I can’t convey how awful I felt because there was no way at all to save that baby.
So I did the kindest thing.
And had a good cry afterwards.
😥

Since that egg, I candled the others under the brody chickens, and found 2 that I was pretty sure were rotting, but I left them just in case I was wrong.
Figured if they went past 45 days under the hens (muscovy take 35 days and sometimes longer to hatch) then I’d toss ’em into the fire.
Welp, good thing I didn’t.
This little numpkin was found wandering on the deck:

Hatching and running away from your chicken moms and then being scooped up by a giant and being held is hard work!

After finding this one, I checked the eggs underneath the hens…
Another on had pipped.
Typically after pipping, the chick will “unzip” the egg shell, making it into 2 halves, then kick it’s way out.
Sometimes, that doesn’t happen.
But, we always give the babies the chance to do it on their own.
They’re always stronger if they can get themselves out.

So we waited for the day.
But the 2nd baby didn’t get past the pipping stage.
So I intervened.

I’ve helped many chickens, a few turkeys, but never a duckling.
I don’t know if the blood was normal.
But, if I didn’t get baby out, they were going to die either way.
I figured if they made it through the night, they earned a name.

So, meet Monty…

My brain says Monty ain’t gonna make it…but my heart says it won’t be a for a lack of trying.

🖤
🖤
🖤

I’ll keep y’all posted…

New Brooder

Okay, so I kinda have the image issue figured out. 
I can embed Instagram posts right into blog posts, so that you don't have to click away from the blog to see images.
And, you can click the arrows on the sides of the images to scroll through multi-image posts. 
Whew. 
Took a bit to figure it out, and it's a fair bit annoying 🤦‍♀️🙄 but at least I can share pictures again. 
Until the next grand WordPress upgrade. 
GAH!!
Why won't they listen that the block editor is a clunky clump of excrement that is a pain in the arse to use?

Anyways, this is the new brooder Hubby built for me.
Since we have so many chicks hatching, plus 75 meat chickens and 10 meat turkeys coming in a couple of weeks….and…turkey eggs in the big incubator…
Welp, I need somewhere to put aaaaaaaallllllll the bebes until they’re big enough to integrate into the main flock…and we’ve been gathering (okay, *Hubby* has been gathering) free building materials from places that get rid of their wood pallets.
This brooder?
All recycled wood.
I’ve got some left over paint from when we were getting the house in the city ready to sell, so I’ll slap a coat of that on it…once the 2 broody hens in there hatch out their eggs.
😂😂😂

So y’know, local-to-me folks…if you’ve got any paint sitting around that you’re never going to use and don’t want it, we’d be happy to take it off your hands and recycle it!

I couldn’t help myself…

This is one of the hens who has been fighting me for the past week over collecting eggs.
She sooooo wants to sit a nest.
So when Hubby finished the brooder, I thought “why not?”
I collected 10 eggs, put them in the basket and put her in there.
Yesterday we added another 8 eggs and another broody hen.
I don’t need this brooder for another 3 weeks yet, so why not let a couple hens do the job?
😉

My 2nd hatch was 24 eggs set.
22 eggs were actually fertile.
4 eggs were quitters…somewhere in the incubating process they just stopped developing.
18 live hatches.
1 lost in the overnight the first night.
So 17 total, with 2 having to be helped after they pipped and couldn’t get out of the egg.
So far, I have 60 chicks.
With 18 under 2 hens and another 24 set into the small incubator.

If we have nothing else to eat this winter, we will have chicken.
😂😂😂
But my tomatoes are coming up now so I think we’ll have a good year, food wise.
I sure hope so!!