It's been all shuffle along one on the farm today for the Polish Banthan chicks. With 9 new born chicks hatching out yesterday timing and planning is everything to ensure no one is left homeless!
The chicks have up to 12 hours in the incubator after hatching to dry out and 'find their feet' before what must be a very scary transition from our laundry room to the nursery house in the chicken enclosure. They have some lovely children to watch over them on their intrepid journey bumping along on the tractor and trailer as the surprise start to the morning feed run!
Timing is everything. The new born chicks only have around 15 minutes out in the open before they would die of cold.....yes even in July! Farmer Nick is quick to prize them out of the caring arms of the children and into the "here's one I made earlier" home under a heat lamp within the nursery house.
Here their ordeal ends, well for the next month at least! Plenty of time to get to know one another and establish who is boss! But what about the chicks they are displacing? It's a case of 'and the little one said "roll over, roll over"' as the month olds came 'off heat' a few days ago in preparation for their big change today.
Brought out into the big wide world for the first time, yet remaining in a designer home as an anti bullying precaution from the etablished ducks and chickens. The chicken world can be a savage place!
And on the merry-go-round we go as the teenage chicks move for the last time in with their adult counterparts down near the river. Again they will remain in their house for a week or so getting to know the grownups with safety around them. Both are curious to say "hello"!
To square the circle, Farmer Nick collects the next batch of fertilized eggs from the food store and carefully washes and places them in the now cleaned and empty incubator.
The laundry room is once again multifunctional! The eggs are labelled up with expected hatching dates,in this case 21st August. I for see another distracting day ahead for me as I hop between the office and the laundry listening and watching the chirping eggs!
Most exciting of all, I am hoping to have live "chick cam" operational for next month so you can tune in and watch with me as they hatch live on our web site! It will be another Coombe Mill first bringing you closer to our lovely farm even when you can't be here!