I really didn’t see that coming. In fact, I didn’t quite believe Brett when he first told me. But it’s true; one of our hens actually hatched a chick of her own!
We’ve had several broody hens this spring. (Broody means instead of pecking and scratching in the dirt the hen sets on eggs all day.) Last spring I put our mail-order chicks under two setting mamas–and was as shocked as anyone when it worked!. But it’s always seemed tenuous at best. Any mama hen who forgets which egg box she’s setting isn’t likely to be successful. But this little bantam hen made it happen!
I did find the egg the chick hatched out of, and this little one is actually from a hen that lays blue-green eggs, not biologically this banty’s offspring. But she did the work and she’ll get the credit. The baby follows her every move like, well, like a baby chick.
Aaaaaaand, because I am either such a push-over or I just really love chicks too, I bought a few more baby chicks for her to raise as well.
The problem is that two of our other little girls were recently…lost. Probably to a dog. Which leaves us only one of the three I bought for pets and Anna is SO worried. I might have promised her that if all three perish we could get more. Well, the farm store is in its last week of selling chicks, so if we get more after this point we’ll have to mail order them and pay three times what the chicks cost in shipping.
And since this mama is raising a chick anyway…
So far, so good. The new chicks all went right to the hen, despite being four days old, and the mama lets them cuddle under her, despite this odd feeling she seems to have that they aren’t really hers. This banty is one fierce mommy too, so everyone should be safe and secure.
But wow. I did not see that coming.