Sunday, May 19, 2013

Well Done Penny: Successful Chick Hatch!

Penny hatched out her chicks last weekend!

She surpassed our expectations as a broody and hatched out TWELVE babies! Good Girl!

shortly after hatching- the babies like to stay right up next to or underneath mama

seeing chick feed for the first time

She has been such a good mama to her chicks and very protective of them (pecking us when we reach in or get close). She raises them far better than we could, teaching them everything they need to know in chicken life. She shows them how to eat, drink, scratch, know what treats are, take a dust bath, and lots of other useful skills.

a couple weeks old

The chicks have grown and changed so much in just the last couple of weeks! They love to snuggle underneath her warm feathers and wings and often they will jump on top of her back to hang out for a bit while she is sitting down. SO CUTE.

catching a ride on mama's back

An interesting outcome of this year's hatch was the presence of a white Dominique chick, which when hatched looked like a fuzzy whitish yellow chick with some grey accents on the wings and head. I had no idea what a white Dominique even was until this happened, and at first I thought a stray rooster had stopped by one day without us knowing to visit our flock of all Dominiques! Apparently there is a recessive gene where every once in a while the Dominique will have white or partially white coloring. It is a pretty rare occurrence and it will be fun to see how this little chick changes as she/he develops.

the White Dominique chick gives mama kisses (or more likely picks food from her beak)

I love letting our chickens breed on their own and repopulate the flock naturally. It's much less work for us to let our hens raise the chicks, and I think they probably integrate into the flock better as well. It does involve some planning in order to breed the best type of whatever breed you have and improve your flock's genetics, but I find it great fun. There's nothing like watching a mama hen and her sweet baby chicks :)

A lot of people have asked us what we are going to do with all these chicks when they grow up. Well, we plan to keep all the pullets and from the cockerels we will save the best one with good Dominique type for breeding and the rest will be processed and go to freezer camp. This will be very very hard I'm sure, but a necessary part of homesteading for us. What else would we do with all those grown roosters?

For now, however, we will enjoy their utter cuteness and fuzzy bodies with high-pitched cheeping noises :)


  1. Oh my goodness, I'm excited for you! 12, TWELVE! That's fantastic!

  2. Congrats! What a great accomplishment! We have yet to do this. You captured such great pictures!!

  3. She's a beautiful momma, I love the Dominique look with their rose comb. She's a busy momma too, how wonderful to have 12...are your roosters friendly to you? I am on the fence whether or not to get one, my friend has a few too many, and I might just decide to take one! but so unsure yet??? I sure don't want to end up with a meany! It would be a blue laced Wyandotte if I do take one...have fun with you babes!

  4. Congrats on the new babies ! Hope you have a great start to your week

  5. Oh - So cute! And to have 12!!! Congratulations. Have a great week.

  6. Eeeee, they are soooo cute! I love seeing baby chicks with their mama. There are few things more precious. I didn't know that about the white Dominiques, so interesting! It does look very unique with the white body. And I love that photo of her (or him) giving the mom a "kiss." Adorable! Love all these photos!

  7. This looks awesome! I found you through The Prairie Homestead. I co-host the From the Farm Blog Hop. The party just started yesterday, so we would love for you to come share with us!
    Fresh Eggs Daily

  8. It makes me sad to know that so many municipalities outlaw roosters because allowing a backyard flock to grow naturally is one of the great joys of backyard chicken-keeping.

    Nice work, Penny! Thank you for sharing with the Clever Chicks Blog Hop again this week. ♥

    Kathy Shea Mormino
    The Chicken Chick

  9. So awesome! Not sure how I missed this post, but I sure am glad I found it! Congratulations on all those perfect little chicks!

  10. This article made me realized that homemade egg incubator is such a wonderful and fun thing to do. I think I am going to have a business in this kind of field. Chicken egg hatching!