It will be awhile. I get the long line of staples out today. Just now bending my knee some, but the leg is very swollen and stiff. The worst this last week was the everyday nausea for some unknown reason. I quit the strong painkillers five days ago, thinking that was the cause, but it continued, so I haven't eaten much the last two weeks since surgery (or, for that matter, since Oct 2 when it happened).
Well, Cricket is BROODY. Bad timing, Miss Cricket. She won't be allowed to sit this time because I just cannot put anything else on my poor beleaguered husband's plate. But she's been hogging the nest for 3 days already and growls when he takes her off so she's definitely broody. When I am ambulatory, maybe I can allow it. @oldhenlikesdogs , Lisa, do you let your bantam Cochins raise chicks in the flock? My Belgian D'Anvers always did, but I was never able to allow the large fowl hens to brood inside the group.
I do allow my bantams to raise chicks within the flock. Sometimes I have problems with other hens, but usually it isn't another Cochin. It's usually one of the other breeds, or a mix.
I generally put a small circle of fence around the brood for a week or two before letting them out to see how it goes just to give the chicks some time to gain strength. Other hens are sometimes jealous, and sometimes I end up with two moms.
The roosters generally help to raise them which is so adorable. Bantam cochins do go broody a lot, so I have to pick and choose when to let them raise chicks or else I'd be overrun (already am) or the hens get depleted. It is the only downside to bantams in general.
Most take a break from it here during winter, but not all. Yours may not since you are a bit warmer during winter.
Did you used to raise d'anvers? I probably spelled that wrong. I know you kept some, but I can't recall if they went broody and hatched for you.
Sorry for being long winded. I do enjoy my bantam cochins.
No apologies needed! That was very helpful. Yes, my Belgian D'anvers were good mothers, co-brooded chicks with the roosters helping. My last original hen died yesterday, my Aimee, who was the best layer (not saying much with this breed) and best mom of them all. She was almost 11 yrs old. Now I just have her daughter, Mina, who I think is 10 yrs old, and the porcelain rooster, Aubrey, who was hatched with Aimee.
I was hoping that the bantam Cochins would be similar with their chicks. It's so much easier when they can stay in the flock! I may have some trouble with the crazy large fowl EE girls who are in with them. I have only three bantam Cochin hens and six EE girls and the four bantam Cochin roosters. It's my buff Cochin girl who is broody now. I have to say if I could only keep one of those breeds, it would be the bantam Cochins. I love, love, LOVE those!
Bantam cochins are sweet entertaining chickens. They were my first love, and will be my last breed that I keep. I'm also downsizing to just them eventually. They are so easy to care for, and so easy to enjoy.
I'm done messing around with the standard breeds. They are good at foraging, but they aren't worth the work to me anymore. Plus if I need to confine birds due to predators they don't take to it. The bantams can be locked up without worrying about birds getting aggressive in confinement.
Sorry you lost Aimee. That's a good long life for a chicken. I find on average my bantams live longer. Probably because they lay a lot less and are more natural as far as reproduction.
Plus nothing more adorable than little fried eggs. Large breed eggs can be too much egg to me.
Thanks, Cheryl. She will be missed. When you have a chicken for that long, it's like losing the family dog. People don't understand that if they never have theirs live that long. And when Snow and June go, who are both almost 14 years old, it will feel like the true end of an era. I've had chickens for a bit over 15 years so they've seen so many come and go in their lifetimes. They were around when I disappeared for weeks when I broke my ankle nine years ago. June is in full molt now and we know how hard that is on older birds in cold weather. She's been a great hen, an EE that came from a breeder trying to create Salmon Ameraucanas, a gift from a friend's hatch, the only chicken I've ever accepted as such. She's been a real pleasure, not needy, but willing to defend my husband against our late Tiny's irrational attacks. She was Isaac's favorite hen when he was alive. And unlike these hatchery EE's, not at all nutty, just a great salt of the earth gal. I expect to lose two or three more by the end of winter, considering that Druscilla is also going on 11 years old and 100% crippled now, living in the divided cage by Snow, above poor hen-less Atlas's head. Atlas outlived all his six hens, even his daughter MaryJo, if you consider that Dru is basically gone already. I hate that he's lonely. I considered giving him an EE pullet or two, but he's so awkward with his bad hock joints, I'm afraid he's unintentionally injure those small bodied EE girls.
The bantam Cochins have been the best entertainment ever. They are so adorable, it just makes me smile to see their round little bodies running across the pen. And Cricket always wants you to pick her up and hold her, or did until she want broody. I hope Tom can snap her out of it soon. But he says when she gets off the nest, she runs to the feeder so I guess she's eating enough. I just love my birds, but of course, you all know that. They give me such joy.
I agree with you 100% about losing a chicken you've had that long. You lose a non-human friend. Too bad old age, and eventual death are inevitable, but that's what the youngsters are all about. That works both in the human kingdom, as well as the animal kingdom. Watching my grands give me joy, in similar fashion to watching chicks grow up. It's the circle of life, with both joy, and sadness.