It’s day 19. We’re expecting our chicks to hatch on day 20. Or 21. We’re doing it the old fashioned way…no fancy schmancy incubators here!! Oh no, our two broody Buff Orpington hens are taking care of the job quite nicely. Well, except when they steal the eggs from each other. And the other 3 unsuspecting hens. Or desert the nest to go sit on the one plastic decoy egg. Or luxuriate in dust baths while the poor babies catch their death of cold. Other than that, we’re doing quite well. We’ve stayed up past our bedtimes just to “candle” our eggs, (a misnomer, should be called scaring the baby chicks out of their wits with a brilliant flashlight pointed at their eyeballs.) So far they all look healthy and hatch worthy. This is actually somewhat of a worry. I’d planned on about a 50% hatch rate. Our little playhouse turned chicken house can handle 3 or 4 more baby chicks. But 7 more? That’s a bird of a different feather. Actually, 7 birds of different feathers. 5 Appenzellar Spitzhaubens ($4 per egg!), 1 Plymouth Barred Rock, and 1 Black Australorp. (They were $5 a dozen.)
Sweet hubby assures me not to worry. There’s always the dog, and the three kitties who love to “play.” Not to mention possible homicidal mother hens. Or jealous sister hens. And hawks. And bobcats. And visiting children swinging rakes like baseball bats. I’m sure our chicken population will be reduced to a manageable number in no time. Of course, their is the possibility of roosters with nasty dispositions and no real purpose but to provide us with Grandma’s Chicken Pot Pie.
Don’t count your chickens before they hatch. Or your chicken pot pie.