Tiny Hen’s Chicks

 

One of the chicks looking cute.


Tiny Hen’s chicks are growing up, and one is getting blue wing feathers.  One of the other Dutch, Sparkles, mus have laid an egg in her nest.  If it’s a blue rooster, I’m keeping it because it would be 100% unrelated to two of the Dutch hens, Beaky and Clover (but extremely related to Duchess).

Tiny Hen digging for her chicks (all seven of them).


The chicks can fly now, and are flying all over and play-fighting with each other.  They love to dig and eat bugs and worms.  There are definitely at least four cockerels, since four of them are getting black feathers in front already.  One looks like a pullet, since it’s getting cream-colored chest feathers.

Flying.


Sleepy in the sun.



 

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Meet Zippy (Cream Light Brown Cockerel)

Left to right: Sparkles, Birdy, Baby, Buddy, and Zippy (far right).  They were curious about the snow last November.


Zippy was hatched last year, and raised along with Sparkles, Baby, Birdy, and Buddy in the same pen.  He is an extremely beautiful bird, currently enjoying his new home.  There were so many chicks hatched that I couldn’t keep them all.  His name is Zippy because liked to run around all day.

Zippy in his coop.  He had a beautifully long tail.


Zippy as a chick, playing outside.



 

Meet “Brooder Chick” (Cream Light Brown Cockerel)

Brooder Chick was given his name because he hatched out last from the incubator.  He was given to a broody hen shortly after hatching, because the chick-raising pen was already full of older chicks, and chicks with a large age differences between them usually don’t get along.  He had a fabulous chick-hood, free-ranging outside with his mother hen.  These little roosters are so tiny that you can pick them up in the palm of your hand–and they love to fly up into trees and crow!  The usual rooster of this breed weighs only 21 ounces, with cockerels weighing 20 ounces.

Brooder Chick showing off his beautiful neck-ruff.


Last November: Chicks curious about their first snowfall (Brooder Chick on right).



Watch for one new Dutch Bantam post a day!



 

Meet Miracle Chick! (Cream Light Brown Cockerel)

Miracle Chick poses with Bluesy.


This is Miracle Chick, a chicken with a story to tell.  He was hatched in late September of last year, and he had a hard time getting out of his egg.  After many of the other eggs had hatched, he was still trapped in his eggshell.  Chicks are supposed to pip a hole in their egg with their beak, and then “unzip” the eggshell by turning and pecking until the eggshell breaks in half and the chick simply leaves the eggshell behind by hopping away (newly-hatched chicks can’t walk properly yet).

But this didn’t happen with Miracle Chick.  He had pecked a big hole in the side of the egg and stuck his head out, pathetically peeping and refusing to move.  We watched in horror, not sure what to do about it.  Two days passed without him making any progress, as other chicks hatched around him.

Finally the incubator water wells had evaporated so much that the eggshell’s membrane was becoming dry, and he still hadn’t attempted to get out of the egg further.  He was stuck.  At a loss of anything else to do, we refilled the wells, and wrapped his egg in a wet paper towel.  Hours passed without progress.  It was a high-stakes hatch, because chicks are supposed to eat after three days, and he had been stuck in the egg for four.  Finally, we dropped a bit of water into the eggshell, and he was able to hatch.

But the battle wasn’t over yet.  It was clear that he was a healthy chick with no deformities, but he wandered around aimlessly, apparently not recognizing food or water.  And he was as thin as a stick.

As a last-chance effort, we put him under a broody hen who had hatched one other chick.  Due to his behavior, his chances of survival looked small.  But the hen did something to calm him, fluff up his chick down, and get him to drink and eat.  He was transformed from a thin, confused chick into a confident and happy one.  He has grown up into a fine, healthy bird, and is king of the flock–hence the name “Miracle Chick.”

It still hasn’t been determined what caused his difficulty hatching.  Too-low incubator humidity and temperature changes is a suspect.  The hatching issue does not appear to be genetic, since his chicks (hatched this year) had relatively easy hatches, and are doing great.

Miracle Chick’s baby picture with his mother hen, Blackbeak.



 

Meet Bluesy (Blue Cream Light Brown Rooster)

Bluesy is one of three Blue Cream Light Brown Dutch hatched last year.  Most of these pictures are of his chick molt–his feather color became truly magnificent once he got his full plumage.  He was raised along with three other chicks by a Jersey Giant hen, Blackbeak.  A Jersey Giant is one of the biggest breeds of chickens and a Dutch is one of the smallest.  She appeared to think her chicks weren’t growing big enough, and kept feeding them worms.


Bluesy (center), along with Miracle Chick and Tiny Hen at about a month old.




Bluesy when he finally began to get his rooster plumage at about three months old.



Summer Chicks

Tiny Hen, a Cream Light Brown Dutch bantam hen, hatched seven tiny chicks.  It was a successful hatch, with 100% hatch rate, and 100% of the chicks survived.  The last chick had a rough hatch, since she had moved off the egg and the egg had dried out.  Luckily the chick made it out after being put under another broody hen, Owly.

cream light brown Dutch Bantam hen and chicks

 


Owly


 

Wild Barn Swallows built this nest and hatched their chicks.


 

Another hatch from this summer–Wattles, hatched by Spicy (a full-sized Speckled Sussex hen).  She’s a Cream Light Brown pullet.

And Duchess, Beaky, and Clover hatched one chick, named Chicklet.  They were extremely happy to finally hatch an egg, and spend hours looking after their chick.  (Pictures coming soon).


Interesting fact: Duchess, Beaky, Clover and Tick-Tock are the grandparents of this year’s chicks.


Goodbye Tick-Tock: Spring 2015 – 2016.  An illness took him in late December of 2016, and he is missed very much.