Thursday, March 29, 2012

Success !

I put the baby chicks under the mother hen last night, and nervously waited for the results this morning. I put a wire barricade inside the pen, so that the babies could get through in case they needed to get away from her. But, all is good. When I went in this morning I could hear her purring, which is a good sign that she has gone in to nurturing mode, and I could see a couple of the chicks poking their little heads out from underneath her. They have since been running around the pen eating and drinking, and she is protectively looking over them and gently pecking at them if they have a bit of food on themselves. They are jumping up at her and on her, thank goodness, very proud of the mummy hen taking on her new babies so well.

(I put a barricade in 1/2 of the pen so the baby chicks could get away from the mother hen if she didn't accept them and tried to hurt them)
(All happy)

 I did a bit of research yesterday about the best way to introduce the babies to her, I had the babies in earshot of her but she could not see them, just heard them peeping, so she could start to go in to nurturing mode, I had read both recommendations, some said to not let her hear them or see them, and some said to let her hear but not see them, as she would hear them peeping naturally underneath her when they were trying to hatch, this made sense to me so I went with that option, and then once she had settled down for the night, I covered her cage in a sheet to keep her as calm as possible, and quietly slipped them underneath her and left her to it. I checked on things a couple of times before I went to bed, and all was quiet and good, and then again at first light this morning.  Mother hen is now eating a little and drinking as well, so they can stay in the safety of this pen for a week, and then they can go over to the chicken tractor with the younger guinea fowl.

1 comment:

  1. How clever! Looks like you have a good natured foster mom.