In the Brooder
- Jul 23, 2021
My son and I have raised chickens (and Guineas) off and on for about 5 years. Took a break after we lost our second flock to a pack of community dogs. We don't have any close neighbors and the dogs individually are all sweethearts, but when they get together like that and get that "pack" mentality, they are brutal! Since then we have brought our Maddie into our home and raised her to be what she is ... a herding dog. We've started again, earlier this year, raising yardbirds. We started with a mature Orpington Rooster and Hen, along with a few Barred Rock babies. Our Orpington hen went broody on us, so we bought some chicks to put in her nesting box to get her over it ... nope. She would have nothing to do with them. So we brooded them in a box for a few weeks and they are now layers. Orp went broody again, so this time we just let nature take it's course and let her sit on them. There was only one egg for the first few days, then a second. Twenty one days later the first egg pipped. The next morning it was gone! She ate her own young (probably forgot to mention that she was kind of a B)! A few days later the other hatched and was bouncing around the coop, but the hen was in the lower level dead. That was about two weeks ago. We have now learned that we are overwhelmed with Red Mites. I knew she didn't look very good those last few times she came off the nesting box. Her crest and waddles were hardly even pink. I just assumed (never having had actual brooding hens) that she was just stressed out. I now know better. Those little pests can suck a lot of blood from a bird. We have this weekend completely cleaned, sprayed and poisoned (all organic and safe) the entire coop and run. Soon, my rooster Otis will have 10 hens to take care of (he's a real gentleman), and we will have eggs for all of our friends!