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Restless by nature, on a whim I blew off city living and my career, to try my hand at a simpler-slower life in rural Tasmania. It's going to be one heck of a learning curve..join me as I find my feet, fingers crossed!

Sunday, October 20, 2013

Tribal chickenhood..

Just when i thought nothing was happening, Zuki planted himself outside the chicken coop and couldn't be moved.
I was having difficulty getting close, the girls were jumping into the bucket to keep me at bay. It's over 31 days.
With 5 of them sitting, i grab the hoe and gently pull the bucket onto it's side and...surprise...5 chicks spilled out.
There were also a couple of dead ones, nothing that a pair of tongs can't reach. Zuki is quivering with delight!

Late in the day, i do a double take, there are  8..and by nightfall 12 have appeared. There are still loads of eggs, the girls are
rotating the sits, and this is when the fun starts.

Whose the mother, It's anyone's guess! But by now, previous mother & dominant hen Lottie, is dispatching the newborns with military
precision. Even the few day old chicks are joining in. It's impossible to keep them safe, so i bury them under the comfrey bush.
Two days later Fuzzy frizzle hen settles on the eggs, she's not the brightest chook, the others are always giving it to her.
I see another newborn emerge, the others are just starting their mission, she is unable to defend it, so i grab it & pop it into a box inside the house. Zuki plonks his head into the box so the chick can nestle into his fur and be comforted, it works. Quickly i set up the other 'baby' suite, also doubles as a rabbit hutch, ready for Fuzzy. Five minutes later, i have covered her bucket and moved her while she sits on the eggs. She has previously abandoned eggs, so i grab lil Zukette chick and plonk her in too..she hears the chirps and settles..success at last.

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