The Country Diary of a GenX Woman

Babies for Mama

Day old chicksA week later, and Mama is still broody, so I bought a couple of day old chicks from the rural feed store in Busselton. I will slip them under her wings after dark and hopefully she will think she has hatched them in a record 10 days. I chose two with distinctly different colouring so we can tell them apart. They are hyline Browns which have been genetically engineered for commercial egg production. Our first 3 birds were the same type from the Margaret River Free Range Egg farm. They lay pretty much solidly for the first 18 months of their lives with production slowly falling after that. Because of the stress this heavy egg production has on their system, they tend to die much earlier than purebreeds or more natural hybrids. At 3 years old, Ginger is still going strong and has barely missed a day, although sometimes the shells aren’t perfect which is possibly a sign she is in decline. Next year when Mama goes broody, I will probably add a couple of different birds in to give us some more longevity and another broody type for when Mama dies. Rumples could possibly go broody, but she is not quite so committed and would rather head outside and is quite happy to give up any eggs she is sitting on.

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Inspired by The Country Diary of an Edwardian Lady