More Chicken Scratch

Buffy's Brood

Here are the chicks with their new mamma, Buffy. I can hardly believe they're the same babies that just emerged from the eggs in my incubator on June 3. The one closest to the center looks most like Buffy, and I'm fairly certain that one must be her chick.

Buffy is such a big bird that she can still fit most all of the thirteen chicks underneath her. She puffs up her chest and they run under her skirts, with the remainder ducking under her broad chest and wings. They also enjoy hopping on her back and sliding off.

If you look closely, you can see one tiny face peering through her wing feathers on the left, and one on her back.

At 17 days old, they're learning to perch like big birds, too.

Goldie: Eight is Enough

At seven weeks of age, Buffy's kids still gather round for lessons.

They've been moved to a pen adjacent to the big birds' quarters, so that they can soon be integrated into the flock. It's a bit less scenic, but Buffy (who isn't a very large hen) was starting fights with the rather sizable Goldie on a regular basis. I hope that soon she and her family will be able to join the rest of the birds in the hen house and the grassy field/flower patch they enjoy on a daily basis.


jessie said...

We had to set up separate quarters for our mom and chicks, too. In the past, I've let them stay in the flock; the mother usually does a great job of protecting her babies from any potential bullies. But we have a stray cat in the yard and the chicks aren't safe roaming free yet. So we set up a large dog crate and a covered run off of that. It's not pretty and it's not as much fun for them, but they might live longer.

It's so fun to watch the birds grow up. Do you have plans for all the eggs you're going to be getting this fall?

Gattina said...

Wow the chicken family becomes bigger and bigger ! And Buffy's seem to be teenagers now !

Samantha said...

What a big family you're getting to be! How do the cats take to the chickens?

Becky said...

I love seeing the pics of the kids growing up. I've got the first one with the chick peering out of the front of Buffy's skirt on my computer.

Would you like a visitor on July 4th? I'll be in the area at Rita's 4th of July cookout and I'd love to meet all of your critters.

Obsidian Kitten said...

jessie -- well, i sell some eggs from a self-serve cooler in the yard. i need more hens, though ~ between the heat, the brooding, and the chicks, things have been a little slow in the egg production dept. lately--and just as i was building up a few regular customers!

samantha -- we only have indoor cats, so no messy cat-chicken incidents to date. *knock wood* lol

we could sure use a couple barn cats to work on our mice, but i would worry about the chickens. so we just have a lot of mice at the moment. they love the hen house--free food, plenty of water, nice feathery nesting materials, and it's all warm and cozy in the winter. they think we built them a Mouse Hilton...

becky -- i don't know what i did with your email addy and blog address! i've been so scattered lately...we're going to be in NYC from june 27 thru i think july 4. i'll let you know when we'll be back, tho

RheLynn said...

Nice to see all the babies with their mommas! I was wondering what you would do with the incubator chicks. It looks like Buffy has just the right idea and good thing her 'skirts' are so big for all those babies :)

Mark's mom only has three left of the nine we bought her :( She found out why - a large snake had found a way into the house and she caught him with the hoe one morning.

Chris said...

I love that they hop on her back! She looks so serious - this is important work she's doing, dammit.