The chicks are here…we ordered 25 layer chicks and 25 turkeys from Murray McMurray and we just picked them up at the post office. We got 3 calls from the post office the morning they arrived. You could tell the postal worker wanted to get this chirping box of chicks out of there as soon as possible.
This year we’re trying things a little differently. Normally we do the heater and raise the babies. But this year we’ve had two of our egg layer chickens get really broody. (Sitting on eggs in the coop and trying to hatch them.) We thought we would give them a shot of putting the chicks under them and seeing if they would raise them for us. We set them up with their own food and water and nesting boxes in our turkey coop we made last summer. When we put the babies in with the two moms the white silky chicken immediately started her motherly duties and the other chicken wanted to have nothing to do with them and kept pecking the babies. We have heard that silky chickens are really good moms and that was the case with us this time. So far so good.
The turkeys came a couple of days later and we don’t have the two older turkeys yet that we’re getting from another farm so we have them in the horse trough with bedding under a heat lamp. I really hope that when we get the two turkeys from out friend that the mom turkey will raise the babies for us.
We’ve read that when the chicks are raised by chickens/turkeys then they grow up healthier with less accidental death because the mom keeps them at the exact right temperature and out of harms way. It’s really cozy and peaceful in our turkey coop/new brooding hen-house. It is actually kind of funny walking in and seeing the white chickens with 25 babies under her. She really does look like a new mom, her feathers all dirty and disheveled and she’s squawking when any of her babies get to far away.