These two first time mums are doing a great job.
Last year they were both good aunties; and now that they've been allowed to hatch some chicks of their own they've turned it into a bit of a team effort.
Look at the tail feathers on the little black chick. That's definitely a pullet!
If you have girls setting eggs this season a few rules to follow:
- Ensure they have water they can dip their underside in (not just your usual drinkers) -- they may need to raise the humidity in the last few days before the chicks hatch
- Remove the water dish when the eggs begin to hatch or fill it with stones -- chicks can easily drown
- Ensure you clean up the broody's horrendous smelling poo every day -- it will attract flies which can then make her flyblown as her skin is fragile after spending week incubating the eggs
- Don't feed her a diet too high in protein
- Ensure she has access to plenty of fresh greens
- Dust her chest and under her wings with Pestene when she begins to incubate then again once the hatching is over
- Remove any eggs that fail to hatch within 72 hours of the first chick hatching -- she needs to get the chicks out and drinking; don't sacrifice their health and well being on a 'maybe' that hasn't hatched yet
- It's the longest 21 days of your life but don't interfere with the hen in the last few days -- picking her up to check the eggs will just spoil the perfect humidity and temp she's working ahrd to achieve