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.



 

Meet “Chicklet”! (Cream Light Brown Pullet)

Chicklet in her chick plumage.  She still has down on her head.


Chicklet was the only chick hatched by Duchess, Beaky, and Clover.  She doesn’t seem to be lonely, since she has three mother hens watching over her and feeding her.  She’s very sweet and calm, and loves to eat berries.

Chicklet with her mother hens (they’re molting right now).



 

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 Sparkles! (Blue Cream Light Brown Hen)

Sparkles is one of last year’s hatch of twelve chicks.  For some reason the eggs had an extremely low hatch rate last year, and a very high hatch rate this year.  She was hatched in an incubator, and raised in a brooder with four other incubator-hatched chicks.  Out of that hatch, there were two cockerels and three pullets.

She was the only Blue Cream Light Brown to hatch (out of that group), and she’s one of the sweetest chickens ever.  All the chicks grew up to be show-quality and extremely beautiful.  Sparkles is going to be shown this year, and her mother, Duchess, was 3rd out of 32 birds overall (large fowl and bantam), and best Single Comb Clean Legged bantam.  Her father, Tick-Tock, received a blue danish at both shows he attended.  Her brother, Bluesy, is a beautiful Blue Cream cockerel (hatched out of a different batch of eggs, and now at his new home).

Sparkles has tried to hatch eggs twice this year, and 100% of the Dutch hens have gone broody.  This breed seems to be very good at sitting on eggs and raising chicks.

Sparkles a few days ago (it’s hard to get a photo of her because she runs around so fast).


The incubator she hatched out of ^


Over the next few days, meet the rest of last year’s hatch!


For more Dutch Bantam posts and pictures, click the “Dutch Bantams” link under “Categories” in the sidebar!



Hatching Dutch Bantam Eggs

Trying to hatch twenty Dutch Bantam eggs in a borrowed incubator.  I hope they hatch.  They’ll be either Blue Cream Light Brown or Cream Light Brown.  About six of the eggs might be too old, though, and I’m really not sure if they need to be turned.  In ten years of keeping chickens, I have never incubated eggs.  A hen hatched a Blue Cream Light Brown and a Cream Light Brown chick, and I hope to hatch more.  The Dutch Bantam breed is kind of rare, and I want to have more than four–just in case something happens to them.

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Incubator with twenty Dutch eggs.


They’re all this rooster’s chicks (he’s not looking his best in this picture–and he’s young so he doesn’t have much tail),

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Tick-Tock wing flap, showing his near-perfect wing coloring.

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Beautiful pure-white earlobes (with some scratches, unfortunately)

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Beautiful eyes, face, and well-proportioned comb.


Show record: Two blue danishes in two poultry shows.



and the eggs were laid by these hens:

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Duchess’s face (with some food on beak)


Duchess (she’s Blue Cream Light Brown and she doesn’t have that much brown in her feathers right now)


Show record: Champion Single-Comb Bantam, third Overall Bantam out of 32 entries, and two blue danishes in two shows.


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and Clover


Show record: blue danish in one show, and received “+ +” on her cage tag–one of two birds in the show to receive that.  She wasn’t washed very much, or she might have done better.


and another hen that looks just like her, Beaky (in bad lighting),

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who looks just like Clover:

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Show record: Blue danish, and “+ +” on cage tag in one show.  Overall Grand Champion in showmanship.


 Millie and her chicks today (they’re much bigger):

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The one on the left is probably a Blue Cream, and the one on the right is most likely a Cream.

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Blue Cream chick (Duchess’s chick)

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Cream chick (probably Beaky’s chick!)