A missing RIR hen and her 15 surprises!!!!!

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by spotlikeschicks, Nov 22, 2011.

  1. spotlikeschicks

    spotlikeschicks Out Of The Brooder

    Feb 13, 2011
    I hope I am putting this post in the correct sub-forum, my apologies if it isn't [​IMG]

    I keep my flock in a large fenced in area, but a few chickens manage to escape to forage in the larger part of the yard and always return at night. About three weeks ago one of my RIR hens didn't come back after a foraging expedition, so I checked again several times throughout the day and night and no luck. Well, about a week went by and no RIR hen was to be seen. Give a couple more days and my father in law who lives next door, some hundred yards away said that he had seen a dark brown/red chicken running past his front porch and into a pole supported overhang on the edge of the garage/shop building adjacent to the house. Sure enough, there she was with a large pile of brown eggs in a corner behind a pole in a bed of leaves. At this point I felt she wasn't in any danger as our dogs don't generally mess with grown chickens as they were raised around them, so I left her alone. I managed to count the eggs when she left the nest to eat the following day, which turns out, she was running back to the fenced range fueling up and running back, I was able to witness this several times later on. I counted 16 eggs as of one week ago.

    Yesterday or last night was hatch time apparently as today I saw this: [​IMG] [​IMG]


    First time broody experience worth noting:
    I decided that I should move her and the chicks into one of the housing units I built inside the fence as there are cats in the immediate area and the dogs, while not aggressive with older chickens, might like to play with the little ones and could hurt them. Wow, this was my first experience with a broody hen, they are mean and have a real nasty temperament. She pecked my hand, growled like a dog, and if I didn't know any better I'm sure those were curse words in chicken language. Anyway, I managed to get them moved by putting her in a plastic tub, then putting the babies in with her and putting a blanket on the top for the trip home. As the math says, there were 16 chicks but for some reason one didn't make it, but 15 happy chicks are all with their momma right now which is a very happy ending or rather beginning!! I do have four roosters of breeding age a white leghorn, a RIR, a light brahma, and a barred rock, looks like I now have descendants from all of them possibly, see picture [​IMG] There are white ones, black ones, tan ones, and red ones, go figure.

    And here is the mother and some of the babies that weren't hiding from the camera:

    Last edited: Nov 22, 2011
  2. gryeyes

    gryeyes Covered in Pet Hair & Feathers

    I love surprises like that!

    The most any of my broody hens have ever hatched has been five chicks. Could be because none of them have hidden where I can't find them. I've been able to remove any eggs laid after the discovery, so nobody has had a large clutch.

    And all of the chicks hatched under broody hens (or pullets) have been crosses, which makes a very varied flock. Interesting looking chicks. It's fun trying to decide who actually laid the egg from which THAT chick hatched, or who's the daddy of that cutie over there?
  3. Katydid2011

    Katydid2011 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 22, 2011
    West Coast USA
    Great story and great pics! [​IMG]
  4. AZ_HenHouse

    AZ_HenHouse Chillin' With My Peeps

    Nov 2, 2011
    [​IMG] [​IMG]
    how fun. Gotta love a broody.
  5. mkcolls

    mkcolls Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 13, 2011
    Love that no matter how much technology there is in the chicken world, the chooks seem to be able to figure it out on their own. What a happy surprise. [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG]
  6. Glenmar

    Glenmar Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jan 17, 2011
    [​IMG] They are so cute. Lucky you. Bonus chickens. [​IMG]
  7. Arielle

    Arielle Chicken Obsessed

    Feb 19, 2011
    Massachusetts, USA
    Such a good broody!!

    RIR's in my flock a much more aggressive than any other bird I have; even my boys won't collect eggs from a RIR sitting in the nestbox. Boys get royally pecked every time! So do I, for that matter. So I can imagine a RIR as a broody!! Great mom.

    THanks for the pics--cute!
  8. partsRheavy

    partsRheavy Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 28, 2011
    How sweet!!!!! Hope they're able to stay warm!!!
  9. anderson8505

    anderson8505 Peace, Love & Happy Chickens

    That is awesome! Thanks for sharing this!!! [​IMG]
  10. Tripp16

    Tripp16 Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 26, 2011
    North Carolina
    Great story! So cool! [​IMG]

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