These photos were taken the first week in May so I’m trying to catch up. The chicks were two weeks old.
The two moms are separated by a long nesting box. They each have a large crate with shavings to sleep in, and separate food and water containers.
Goldie’s Three Chicks:
Goldie is the kind of mama hen that promotes independence. She is very “stir crazy” in her space, so she jumps over to the other side. When she does this, she starts to attack Georgie who does not fight back, rather Georgie is scared of her and jumps up onto the cat crate leaving her chicks. Fortunately, Goldie does not attack the chicks. In my stress, I wanted to put her out with the other hens, and I opened the door. One of the Bantams came in and a huge fight ensued, with Goldie really not winning, so that did not work either. Now, my solution is to keep Goldie occupied with rice straw, wheat grass, and dirt to scratch. She still crosses the “line” but is a bit more relaxed and less aggressive. It seemed to happen when I locked the cat crate door over night which I do not do anymore now that the chicks are larger.
When Goldie first left her three chicks to go over the nesting box, they had each other to keep occupied, but they really wanted to follow her. They hopped up and started flapping their wings early on to climb up the box. They also learned balance to walk the thin frame, and one chick fell into the box and could not get out. I had to stuff hay inside, and now they love to sun bath on the soft bed.
Georgie’s Two Chicks:
In comparison, Georgie is a dedicated mama hen. Her babies won’t go off and investigate without her, and she does not leave them, like Goldie. She sits in her dirt space to be the mama keeping them warm. When I bring them treats, like grass and rice straw, she teaches them what to eat with chirps. One chick loves to ride on her back.
Georgie’s chicks were born days 20 and day 21 so they are bit less mature I am thinking than Goldie’s chicks that were born days 23, 24, and 25. Very interesting comparison. Also, Goldie was brooding and nesting longer, and as soon as the 3rd egg hatched, she wanted out of the cat crate.
As of two days ago, we now have a THIRD Bantam hen turned broody. She was a ragging mean girl for days, acting like a rooster and picking fights. I was ready to turn her loose or separate her in the greenhouse, but she has been sitting in the hen house on eggs. I’ve contacted Pam for more fertilized eggs. We’ll see what happens!!!