Silkie hen is a great brooder.

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by Costa Rica Art, Oct 19, 2011.

  1. Costa Rica Art

    Costa Rica Art Chillin' With My Peeps

    An eggsellent story:
    Speaking of meat chickens, the meat chicks finally arrive in town this morning and I went and got 6 for our small back yard/coop. [​IMG] I had planned to sneak in to the coop tonight and place the chicks under Mrs. PJ, our silkie hen, as I thought her eggs had gotten cold and were bad. Well when I got home an hour (1PM) ago I began to wonder about sneaking in a chick early. We went out to check on Mrs. PJ and she had a little one sticking it's head out. [​IMG] Well we thought perhaps now would be a good time so we took one of the meat chicks out and put it under her, she sat right back down and began her momma clucking sounds. Well we couldn’t resist, took the rest out and while my wife held momma I placed the rest in the nest (she hatched two of her own). When the wife placed her back on her nest it was all nice momma clucking sounds and all of the chicks went under her. [​IMG] Those little guys liked the warmth and I guess they decided that Momma PJ was just the right momma they were looking for. [​IMG] I had sectioned off part of the coop so Momma PJ and the chicks are in there. For baking we are thinking somewhere in the 10 to 12 weeks to dressing size for our freezer. We’ll know more about that as these are Costa Rica birds and may differ in time to reach a good weight. Being Momma PJ is willing to take on the chicks we may just raise bakers with her and see if our Bantam hen, Henrietta, will also raise meat chicks but with her we were thinking more like fryers around 8 weeks or so, she raised two regular egg hens from eggs this last time she went broody. We might get by with 4 chicks under her, I plan to replace her eggs with golf balls till she starts setting then replace the golf balls with chicks when she isn’t looking. [​IMG] Anyway it is a good day in Los Angeles Sur de Alajuela, Costa Rica in spite of the rain, it has rained for 12 days, a fellow down the road is building something he is calling an “Ark”, said something about animals and the drains backing up). [​IMG]
    There is joy in Mudville tonight! [​IMG]
     
  2. iamcuriositycat

    iamcuriositycat Chillin' With My Peeps

    3,703
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    Jul 30, 2009
    Charlotte, NC
    Awesome!! I am raising six little silkie chicks now, and I am always encouraged to read what great little mamas they are. I want them to raise some ducks for me next year, and maybe some quail as well. And I will definitely let them raise more silkies if they cooperate by laying for me! Thanks for sharing your sweet story. [​IMG]
     
  3. lvchicken

    lvchicken Chillin' With My Peeps

    Feb 1, 2011
    I can't wait until my baby Silkies go broody!! [​IMG]
     
  4. jbourget

    jbourget Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 4, 2008
    CT
    enjoy your meat once it is ready! nothing better... good luck
     
  5. Costa Rica Art

    Costa Rica Art Chillin' With My Peeps

    Our silkie hen, Mrs. PJ continues to amaze. I've been waiting for 4 months for some new chicks, they're what Costa Rica (agricultural ministry) has been breeding to be a combination chicken. The ponedora's (CRs commercial layers)seem to be good for just one season then stop laying, I think they are bred to with stand the heat and humidity of Costa Rica's egg factories. This breed is for the home owner with a small flock so when they became available I was in line to get a few, a few turned our to be 30 which is OK as I plan to share them when they are large enough to be on their own out of the brooder. A huge surprise was they were free, CR is working hard to help those who help themselves. I have a section of my coop for a brooder area, I had placed two heat lamps in it already in preparation for some chicks when they became available. In the mean time Mrs. PJ became broody and was in a nest box in the brooder area. I got the chicks which were very healthy looking and put them in the brooder area and turned on the heat lamp. Well some of the little beggars spotted Mrs. PJ, under her they went. As the day went on more and more of them were trying to get under her, the rest shared the heat lamps. The next morning Mrs. PJ had abandoned the nest box (we tossed out the eggs) and was being the awesome momma she is. It was a laugh to see all of those chicks doing their best to get under her, there were even 4 of them on her back. They were sticking out from between her wings and her body. She, just like always, was making her momma sounds and fluffing her self up as big as she could. The chicks now share the heat lamps and her. We lost one chick but the rest are doing great. It will be fun to see her take the brood out for their first day in the yard. They will be around 4 weeks old before they are allowed out as it won't be easy to find them if they scatter around when it is time to return to the brooder area. I will take photos of that day, humor like that should be shared. [​IMG]

    Costa Rica Art
    [​IMG]
    Yes, there are 29 of those chicks under her and around her.
    [​IMG]
    This is what they will look like when grown, this hen lays some awesome eggs and has a nice even disposition.
    I will choose maybe 10 hens and one cockerel to keep based on their shape, weight and disposition, the rest will be shared with others who don't have Mrs. PJ or the brooder to raise chicks. Like the USA, chicken meat and eggs aren't cheap anymore but raising them not only helps cut cost but the eggs and meat is like no store bought. We have another silkie hen, hope she will take over being the great momma when Mrs. PJ is gone. I plan to hatch maybe 6 chicks every year for replacements and of course for the freezer.
     
    Last edited: Oct 16, 2012

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