Monday, February 2, 2015

For the love of Bantams........... Windy..flurries..16*...

The last time we had a sunny day I let my bantams out to play.
I thought I'd ask if any have tried this idea I thought of a few years back.
If you've ever had bantams, you know what devoted mothers they are, willing to hatch anything for anybody. Well odds are in any hatching 50% will be roosters.
That's a real problem for me since I can't eat them, and none have ever appreciated my good home.
They demonstrate this lack of appreciation by commencing  warlike activities with their brothers, half brothers, cousins etc. In my area you can't even give them away so what to do?
A couple of years back my local feed store started selling chicks in the spring, even letting you preorder your preference. So this is what I tried  ---- I ordered pullets only and while waiting for delivery date I gave unfertile eggs to setting bantams. When the chicks arrived I kept them in the house until dark. Then carefully picking my way through the yard ( we have copperheads) I went to the hen and gently reached under her to remove the eggs. I was very careful not to get her up. Then I replaced the eggs with the chicks and retreated while listening to her welcoming cluck. I have done this with three different bantam hens and didn't have a failure yet!

Bantam sisters Henny-Penny & Jenny collaborating a couple of years ago to sit on
and successfully hatch 17 chicks together, before I came up with the idea above!

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