If it is possible for a chicken to squeal with delight, Dottie did just that.
Baby Pepper proclaimed “I’ve got sisters!”
Ramblings from around the farm.
These past two weeks have been busy with this and that around the farm. Mr. Cottage has been working on the addition in his spare time.
Our friend came over to help out with installing flood lights on the front and back of the house and vents for the exhaust fans on the end of the house.
Those flood lights on the back of the house are going to really come in handy.
Our neighbor also helped Mr. Cottage work on our tractor. The gas tank had a hole in it that had been repaired. Putting the tank back on has proven to be a real pain the you-know-what. I’m anxious to get this thing going and get some garden work done and seeds planted.
We also opened the farm stand for the season.
In the stand at this time are eggs, a few herbs, and fresh-baked cookies. I’m waiting for the growing season to get underway to add more items. The first two weeks are off to a very good start and we are most appreciative of our customers.
In chicken land…
When we last visited I shared how I discovered our chicken, Dottie who had gone broody was stealing eggs from the other girls to add to her nest. At that time she had a total of 12 eggs – only two of them were hers.
It became my mission to keep an eye on her and try to keep the little egg thief from
stealing acquiring more eggs. I soon figured out that she had a routine of getting off the nest around 1:00 each afternoon. At that time she would have a light snack and a quick drink. She would get up on a perch walking back and forth and sing a chorus or two.
Then Dottie would run laps up and down the roost ramp.
Then when she thought I wasn’t watching, she would steal an egg or two and add it to her nest.
One day when Dottie got off the nest for her break, her sister Dolly got in her place. Dottie seemed fine with that, but then after Dolly got out, Dottie wouldn’t get back on the eggs and I panicked. Yes, I did.
(For those that don’t know – it is ok for the chicken to be off the eggs for short periods of time up to an hour but as the eggs develop less time off of the eggs is necessary for their development you don’t want high-temperature fluctuations or humidity changes.)
I totally flipped out.
Dottie had been off the eggs for almost two hours. During my hysteria, we called our neighbors to borrow their incubator. We got the incubator set up and ready to go. But first we tried to relocate Dottie and the eggs to a pen in a more private area of the hen-house – which caused Dottie to flip out – it was serious chaos at the Red Dirt Farm. Dottie paced back and forth squawking bloody murder and refusing to get on the eggs. I was in tears, not wanting to lose the chicks. Another hour had passed, and it was a cool day, which meant the eggs were cooling down. We decided to move Dottie and the eggs back to the original location and if that didn’t work then the eggs were going in the incubator. It was at this time we realized she had acquired a whopping 19 eggs! I said it before, she really wanted a big family.
Dottie got back on the eggs and my heart could stop pounding in my chest. She was pissed. I was exhausted. You could see she had the attitude that she knew what she was doing the entire time and did not appreciate the human interference, which by the way I had said I wasn’t going to do. So much for that.
A week later during a wicked storm, I went out to check on Dottie and I heard it. Ever so faintly, peeping coming from under Dottie. She had hatched an egg! WHOOP WHOOP! That was Thursday. All day Friday and Saturday we waited for more eggs to hatch. Nothing.
Again, here I go interfering. Mr. Cottage and I discussed it, we did not want Dottie to raise just one chick, obviously, she wanted lots of babies and because she had been acquiring eggs over a long period of time, the hatch dates would be spread out if the other eggs would even hatch. Chickens will continue to set for eternity if they think they need to hatch more eggs. She needed to be up and about eating, drinking and pooping not to mention teaching the little chick, how to survive.
So off to the farm supply store we went. Yes, we purchased 6 little pullets so Dottie would have a big family and give up the broodiness.
The question was – would Dottie accept them? We relocated Dottie and her little chick (which we named Pepper) to that very area that Dottie screeched about being in before. This way she could walk around yet she was in a protected area. As soon as we got them settled in we introduced the adopted 6. And that is when…
Dottie squealed with delight and baby Pepper proclaimed she had sisters. All was well – the adopted family was quickly taken in. It made us cry with joy.
I candled the rest of the eggs and picked 7 that I thought were viable and put them in the incubator. Three days later, little Inky hatched.
Welcome to the world Baby Inky.
I waited a few hours and then took Inky to Dottie, hoping like heck she would take Inky and raise this chick.
Here is a video of me taking Inky to Dottie. Sorry there aren’t any windows in the back section of the hen-house and it is dark a little hard to see Inky in the video and the quality isn’t that good. But still…
I candled the remain eggs yesterday, there were only two I thought were good, so they are still in the incubator, I’ll give them a week to see what happens.
Meanwhile, we have the 6 adopted girls that need a name. I thought it would be fun if you all joined in and suggested a name. You can adopt a chick via the internet.
Name those chicks!
Leave your suggestion in the comment section here on the blog or like our facebook page (Red Dirt Farmstand) and leave a comment there.
Here is a list of names already used, no repeats please:
Be creative and help name Dottie’s adopted family.
Thank you for being here today.
Red Dirt Farm
Coral Cottage is now Red Dirt Cottage
Red Dirt Farm