Baby Banzai


| 4/12/2012 5:44:00 PM


Tags: broody, hen, Silkie, Phoenix, Yokohama, chicks, Shana Thornhill,

Shana head shotI’ve kept you hanging about Baby Banzai for long enough.  Here’s the whole story. 

You know that I have two Phoenix/Yokohama crosses.  One day, Sushi (the pullet) started to lay.  Sure enough, I think my Silkie hen (Beautiful Sweet) got the radar.  My Silkie is an amazing layer for a couple of weeks at a time, but after that she goes broody if you look at her crosseyed.  I must have looked at her funny, so she was broody.  I figured what the heck.  If she wants to set eggs this bad, why not let her?  After all, I was pretty sure that the Phoenix eggs would be infertile at this stage.  I’d just have to candle them to make sure they didn’t go rotten.  

Maki the roo and Sushi the pulletSo I put three eggs under Beautiful Sweet.  She was rather disconcerted to be moved to new quarters at night, but she quickly settled in.  I put her in my screen porch in a large dog crate with a milk crate stuffed with hay as a nest.  She soon made it her home.  She started to brood with a vengeance.  I’d never seen a chicken go broody before her, and her zombie-like trance was nothing short of amazing. 

Enter my son.  He wants to HELP.  He’s  four.   A few days after I put the eggs under Beautiful Sweet, he decided to help by gathering them for me and leaving them on the counter.  I put them back under her as quickly as I could, preparing for doom.  Several days later, he wanted to check them and dropped one.  Shortly thereafter, he broke another one.  So, we were down to one.   

Again, I thought, what the heck.  I put three more eggs under that gorgeous Silkie.  By now, she’d been setting for about a week, showing no signs of boredom.  I locked the cage.  I chastised my son.  Soon it was candling day.  You could have  knocked me over with a Silkie feather when I found that ALL FOUR were fertile . . .and one was due in a week and a half.  The others had another 2 weeks to go.  It had to be a mistake, I thought.  After all, I haven't candled anything for 20 years, and that was parakeet eggs.  I settled in for the wait.

I went out to candle on what I thought was the night before due date and heard very tiny peeps.  WOW.  I reached under my (thankfully tolerant) Silkie and found the tiniest little chick I’d ever seen in my life.  For some reason I was surprised at her tiny size, even though I knew she came from an egg about the size of George Washington on a dollar bill. 

NEBRASKA DAVE
5/19/2012 4:50:49 AM

Shana, congrats on being featured in the new GRIT Country, the digital companion to GRIT, it has more useful and valuable information on do-it-yourself projects, gardening, cooking, farm animals and more, in a short, interactive digital issue. Have a great day on the homestead.





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