Follow the Douglas Family's 4-H ChickQuest Project where we incubate chicken eggs!
Thursday, January 11, 2018
Welcome to the Douglas Family ChickQuest Blog! I'm Annie, I have a Bachelor of Science in Agriculture/Animal Science from The Ohio State University and I'm a 4-H Advisor in Ohio. In 2010, our 4-H Club decided to do a group project and chose ChickQuest. We were one of 4 families who would have incubators at our house and hatch the eggs. In an effort to keep everyone in our group in the loop of what was happening each day, I chose to blog about it. We still have one hen in our flock from this hatch! Her name is Oprah. She's a beautiful friendly Australorp and you can see her at the top of this page.
To start at the beginning of our ChickQuest Blog click here: Day 1 (Monday, May 17, 2010)
Then to move to the next page click on the words, "newer post" at the bottom of each page.
We have 13 hens and have made some improvements to the coop.
We added a covered common area, we like to call the "Ball Room" to the back of the cabin. This allows the hens to have a nice area to hang out in the winter and when it's rainy. It also provides a wind block. We are facing north. We like to think the hens have dances at night in the "ball room" and even had a disco ball hanging in the center of it for a while!
A run is attached to the hen house and is covered with netting. We have hawks in the area. The top of the run is part of our old swing set.
Underneath the cabin is a window made of plexiglass. The ladies love to look out and also sun themselves in the winter.
The dog house provided a covered area for pullets as they integrated into the flock. Many times the older ladies won't let them in the ball room or out of the rain. This worked great for the young pullets to have cover from the rain and wind. However when they started laying eggs, they put some in the dog house. So we had to turn it around to close it off.
Inside the "ball room". This is their common area. It has food and water. We added a litter box that serves as an extra nesting box.
The ramp up to the hen house where most roost at night. We can lock to lower dutch door.
A side view and the "people entrance". We cover the screen door with plastic during the winter.
The nest box is attached to the cabin. It has two spaces.
A side view of how the chickens exit the hen house and ball room. The door is on a pulley and we can close it at night. It also serves to to block the west wind in the winter.
We also have a small roost set up on the Little Tikes chairs. The ladies use this every morning after they eat their breakfast. They sit up there and preen their feathers.
The run opens up into a very large pasture. The hens love this and spend most of their time here in the summer. We have lots of shade.
The judge commented on her nice body and tail feathers.
The pullets were in separate cages when we first brought them to the Fair. The Leghorn was frantic for a day and then we finally put them together in the same cage. They were MUCH happier together.
Many thanks to all that helped us at our first Chicken Show. Thanks to Laurel for all the advice and help. Thanks to Logan, Theo and Jenny who helped us bathe and prepare the pullets. Thanks to Ann and Logan who helped us choose the best birds to take to the Fair. The Dalton-Kidron Big 4 4-H Club Chicken group is so supportive! Thank you!
The chicks are growing like weeds in the sunshine! They're are getting bigger, starting to get wing feathers and they're hungry. We could spend hours watching them--and we do! They_ are_ so_ cute!!
Their personalities are beginning to emerge. There's the alpha chicks --the ones in charge. The curious ones--always first to check out something new. And the shy ones--not wanting to be a part of anything new or scary.
We have them on pine shavings now. They've figured out where the food and water is and love scratching in the shavings.
Here's a video of their busyness and curiosity. . .
The last egg to hatch was White egg #6 (my pick for who would hatch first, LOL!). It hatched at 10:14 am.
This chick needed a little assistance getting out of the shell and seems very weak. Once out of the shell it was very floppy and wobbly. It kept flipping over and staying on it's back like a turtle that has turned over. We gently keep flipping back upright. With some extra attention, it seems to be OK and we moved it to the brooder about 6 pm. The other chicks are pecking at the new chick :-(
We candled the other eggs and determined no more are alive or viable.
This is the video I promised to post of white Leghorn chick #3 hatching at 5:50 pm on Tuesday June 1, 2010. The entire process took nearly a day....from the pip, until completely out of the egg. We've clipped that into two 5 minute videos. These little guys work so hard to get out!