The chicks are all grown up! Last weekend marked 16 weeks since we brought them back in a small cardboard box and carefully place them underneath Ruby; now they’re almost the same size as Ruby and fully establishing themselves as part of the flock.
It’s hard to believe that the almost fully grown hens that I see each day now were once the cute little chicks that we brought back in a small cardboard box and gently placed under the broody Ruby, crossing everything and hoping that she would accept them. She did, and went on to rear them to the beautiful pullets that they are just now, calling them for food and showing them how to scratch when we moved them all outside. They’d sleep under Ruby at night, as they needed her for heat, and continued to do so until they were about 8 weeks old, though at that stage Ruby was looking very awkward with Crystal, Pearl, Sapphire under her! They’re now in their own accommodation without Ruby but over the next month our aim is to have all the hens together, as we currently have a nightly routine with the chicks flying to the top part of the coop and roosting on the outside, resulting in me climbing up there to get them down and put them in their own coop.
At 16 weeks, the chicks are now onto layers pellets, the same as everyone else and in a few weeks should start to lay eggs, doing their bit for all the girls!