|Our original six chicks.|
So what to do? It was too late in the baby chick season to buy from any local sources. Mail order chicks were possible, but pricey on the shipping. And then our local veggie CSA farm offered us fertile eggs to hatch. We don't have an incubator, but one of the chickens that survived is named Broody, because of her tendency to go broody so often. "Broody" is when the hen is sitting on eggs trying to hatch them. Since we had not ever had a rooster, there was no way that she could ever hatch our eggs, but if she went broody, we could put in the fertile eggs and have her hatch those eggs.
First, Broody and her sister Buffy, needed to start laying again. Seems like the fox attack left them a little upset and they stopped laying. After about a week finally they started laying again. I started leaving the eggs they laid in the nesting box, hoping to encourage Broody to do her thing. Very odd, as for four years we tried everything to get her NOT to be broody. It took another couple of weeks, but finally Broody has been sitting on the nest.
I put a call into the farm and just picked up the fertile eggs today. We decided on putting nine eggs in the nest. (She had been sitting on eight eggs.)
|The fertile eggs in the nesting box.|
DH grabbed Broody and took her out, while I did the switch. We quickly left and prayed that she would accept the new eggs. Well she took her own sweet time about it. Evidently she decided that since she was out anyway she had time to take a dust bath, do some grooming, get a drink and something to eat.
|Broody, mom, er... adoptive mom to be. (Buffy is on the right)|