It’s time to update you on how the chickens have been doing!
As chicks, they were brooded with zero electricity. Instead, we used a cold brooder and a Mother Hen box (you can read that blog post here). It has yielded some interesting anecdotal results, most notably:
- The Delaware and Blue Australorp started laying eggs at 4 ½ months of age! The Easter Egger hens were the latest to start at 5 months old.
- All of the birds are quite sensitive to the growing light at dawn, most of the winter the roosters started crowing about 6 o’clock a.m. Currently (Feb.10) they begin at around 5 a.m.
- An Australorp hen went broody only three months after beginning to lay.
For the Australorp hen mentioned, her broodiness was not a passing fancy by any means! She dutifully tried to sit on eggs for 22 days straight, was quite irritated when we would take them from her each day, which action didn’t even budge her from the nest. We tagged her leg so we’ll know when she sits on a clutch again. And then we will happily allow her to do so!
These factors lead us to believe that the birds’ circadian rhythm was indeed greatly benefited by not being under bright light constantly as chicks.
So far we are very encouraged by our observations. We have high hopes for mother-raised chicks this year!
Find updates under future Chicken Chronicles blog posts.