Q-Tip and the babies

Letting a silkie hatch chicks

Q-tip is a silkie hen, just under a year old. She just hatched her first clutch. Wait....let's back up a month! There was a whole lot of egg stealing going on as Zippy (a black silkie hen about the same age) decided to sit on eggs first. Q' (pronounced cue-eee) thought that looked like the thing to do and set in Zippy's nest with her. After 3 days of egg stealing and fluffy squabbles, I picked Q' up and moved her to a high nest box. I gave her a few new eggs. 

At this point I have no idea whose eggs are whoes! I candle and give Zippy all the developing ones (since she's been sitting the longest) and the rest go to Q'. I wish I had gotten some pictures of what happened next! First Duchess a Mille Fleur D'Uccle hen decided to sit also, in Q's nest box. Then Princess (sister of Duchess) decided to sit in the next nest box. 

Days of confusion ensued as the broody hens swapped nests and stole eggs from each other! One of them would get up to eat and come back to someone else on her eggs! So she would steal eggs from someone else. *sigh* after about 2 weeks of this I moved Q' and 4 eggs to the dog crate. The Mille Fleur sisters gave up shortly after. 

silkie hen raising chicks

Q' never gave up though, and a few days later out popped 4 little fuzzballs! 2 pure whites, a gray and a black&white ... no idea where that one came from! lol

I'm pretty sure the whites are from her eggs. The gray one is the exact color as Skids, who just started laying (named after the Transformers Character. Note: never let a 10 year old name the chickens. This is a name you might end up with!) So I believe Skids is its mama. The black and white.....I just don't know about that one. I guess I'll figure it out as she grows!

White Silkie hen and chicks

They are all happy and healthy. They are a little over a week old now, and just starting to get some feathers in. They loved being outside yesterday and scratching in the dirt with mama hen. They chased after little bugs that she scratched up for them, then snuggled back under her for a nap. Hopefully it will warm up soon, so they can go out and play again!

For some reason these first clutches can be troublesome! You should have seen how things went down the first time Pepper tried to set!


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