Saturday, August 4, 2012

I will never raise chicks again

Why you ask?  Because I've discovered that a broody will do it for you.

Honey has been broody for three weeks and I've ready so many times over that you can tuck new born chicks under a broody to raise.  And I really don't think there is anything cuter than a mama hen with babies.  So off to the feed store I went.

I really struggled with my decision on what to get.  And you are also at the mercy of what the store has at the moment.  If there were no other factors, I would only have Buff Orpingtons.  I LOVE my BO's.  But you've all read my saga of not being able to eat their eggs so I was forced to buy chicks who will lay anything but a brown egg.  I wanted Ameraucanas but when I got to the store, they were really Easter Eggers.  Nothing wrong with EE's but Pumpkin was an EE and I didn't have the best experience with that bird.  So I was hesitant.

So after much discussion with one of the people at the store, I settled on three Andulsians, two should be blue.  And OMG, are those chicks cute?

Many people swear by tucking the baby chicks under mama at night and letting her wake up with them.  But I've also read that plenty of people just do it whenever.  And honestly, I couldn't wait.  So I set the peeping box of chicks next to Honey.  They say to do this for a while so that she can sort of switch gears from protective broody to nurturing mama.  But I was a little to eager and opened up the box and tried to tuck one under her and she pecked at the baby.

So I put them back into the box and set next to her in half sun, half shade and the babies fell asleep in the sun.  And Honey slowly stood up to look at them.  After another 20 minutes or so, she was ready to accept them as her own.

They scampered under her and all fell asleep.  This is where I came to the conclusion that I'd never raise chicks on my own if at all possible.  No more heat lamp, no thermometer, no worrying if they are okay, checking up on them when they are peeping loudly, no more of any of that because Honey has it all under control.

And look at those faces of contentment.  My baby chicks in the brooder where never that content.

The babies slept for several hours while the big girls played in the garden.  When I put the girls back, the babies woke up and started running around and peeping.  Well, this got Coco and Spice's attention and they were NOT happy about these newest additions.  Thank goodness I had barricaded them.

Spice let out this pterodactyl worthy scream that honestly scared the living daylights out of me.  The three babies scattered in all directions and two of them popped right through the tiny holes in the fencing.  OMG, I had to scramble.  I shooed the big girls out and closed the gate and gathered up the babies.  I quickly moved everyone over to the Bunk House and locked them in.

The only issue there is that Spice still likes to lay in the Bunk House.  She's decided she wants to go sleep in the Spice Cabinet with her older sisters Coco and Ginger.  Ginger is not thrilled about this added house guest and still pecks at Spice, but Spice is so big and fluffy that she just turns her back on Ginger.

Not only does Spice want to lay in the Bunk House, she wants to lay in the SAME nest that Honey is broody in.  Which was fine till I got babies.  I can't have 5 birds in one nest.  So it took a great deal of encouraging yesterday to get Spice to lay in Honey's old brooder box.  Two plastic Easter Eggs helped sweeten the deal and show her it was a good, safe place to lay.

But this morning I'm having some regrets about not getting Easter Eggers so I think I'll dash back over to the store this morning and see if I can't pick up two EE's and tuck those under Honey.  That will be 5 which is fine for her to raise.  And it will give me some options on who to keep and who to part with once they grow up and develop their personalities.

If there are any readers out there who have Andulsians, I'd love to hear from you about your experience with this breed.  You can email me directly at

And stay tuned for more cuteness photos to follow in the coming weeks.


  1. I knew you would have chicks this weekend! They are so, so cute. I think you should go for the Easter Egger's too. In for a penny, in for a pound, I say. I wanted three chooks and ended up with four and no regrets. I can't wait to see this story unfolding and see all the cute photos. So happy for you and for Honey.

  2. What a great story! If I have a broody hen next summer, I'm going to give this a try also :)

  3. Good luck on your new babies! What cute pics of Honey and her new family! Keep us posted with more pics! ;)

  4. We want to try this with a broody hen. How has it worked out so far? Any words of wisdom that you have learned through this experience? I would appreciate any that you have. We are thinking about getting some tomorrow.