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So Much for Buff Orpingtons being Good Mothers

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I’m fed up with our chickens. A couple of days ago Mother Hen seemed to feel she was done taking care of her babies. It’s hot out and they have feathers and don’t need to be under her, but I’d say they still needed her to help find food and stuff. And the babies definitely felt that way. How do I know? Because they piteously peeped and peeped all by themselves. Then she went to bed in the coop with everyone else and the babies spent the night in the garage by themselves. That afternoon I saw that they had reconnected with her and seemed determined to make her stay with them.
Stay with us!!
At night (this is last night) she went into the coop and the babies couldn’t bring themselves to go in. They wandered around peeping forlornly. We were headed in to put the kids to bed so we didn’t try to catch them or anything. Later we didn’t see them in the garage (but it’s easy for two tiny chicks to hide amongst all that) or in the coop. And I haven’t seen them since. So did they spend the night outside and something wandered along and ate them? Did that lousy mother hen sit on those eggs for 3 weeks and lavishly protect them when they went outside only to ditch them and have them get eaten on their first solo night? Should I have put off putting the kids to bed so I could have captured the babies and forced them into the coop? I’m so bummed and frustrated with this.

It doesn’t help that we have 4 broody hens who are completely messing up everyone else. Our dozen eggs a day has dropped to only a couple because, yet again, the hens are squeezing in next to the broody hens to lay eggs.
Hen Party
I may be so angry with them all today that I might collect and discard every egg I can find and make everyone start over.


About Sarah

I'm a librarian living with my lovely family in a gorgeous spot of New Jersey, where we raise chickens and love the outdoors. I try to find enough time to indulge all my hobbies-cooking, photography, gardening, sewing, and I write about it all on my book blog & personal blog.

4 responses »

  1. That is taking tough love a bit far , Mother Hen. Poor babies.

  2. Oh man, the chicks are goners? That hen is just lousy! (Of course, with all that piteous cheeping they were always doing, maybe they weren’t long for this world anyway?) I’m sorry that the rest of the hens are such dopes that when one gets broody they all go nuts. Surely junking all the eggs and whipping that chicken yard into shape is a good plan.

  3. Awww! Maybe…um…they’re off on a grand adventure?

  4. Oh man, I had no idea raising chickens was this hard! I’m so sorry for all the headaches this is causing.


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