Old ‘Snowy’ our bantam hen went broody [again!]. She was housed in a former rabbit hutch, 500 mm off the ground. We were short of eggs and only put 2 under her. She dutifully sat and hatched just one chick – but what a chick!
Only one day old and the chick found a way to fall to the ground through the wire. “Snowy” went berserk, anxiously calling her single ‘brood’ back to her. The chick was unperturbed. He was having a fun time scratching away looking for wriggly things to eat, and exploring this exciting new world. We called him ‘Adventure Chick’ [all our chickens have names…] because he was always up to whatever adventures might be available.
Well, whenever we walked towards his run, he would race towards you, eager to grab whatever goodies we might be bringing from the kitchen. He was born ready for the world. Fences and barriers had no meaning – at any age. He would wriggle through gaps in the wire and as soon as he could flap and lift himself up a little he worked out how to get onto the rabbit hutch roof. From there he could launch himself into the veggie garden whenever he wanted… and he wanted this often. Adventure’s ‘Can Do’ attitude was some recompense for the devastation of the young veggies… well just!
Snowy was left a forlorn failure of a mother. Her chick saw no point in hanging onto her skirt, he was OFF to see the world! Of course, he grew big and strong at a rapid rate. When he became a young rooster he revealed a rather feeble crowing technique that belied his vigour and size. The vigour was soon focused on the hens belonging to our “senior” rooster [Spotty]. As you would expect, Adventure Chick was the master of ‘Wombat attack’ on Spotty’s wives. He would drift closer to the outlying hens and take the opportunity with alacrity – and not a little loud protest from Spotty.
Where is he now? Well, we found that having 2 roosters with only 6 hens was too competitive, and hard work on the hens. So when a neighbour needed a good rooster, we moved Adventure Chick on to rooster heaven – 8 hens all to himself!