I have to wonder if other people with chickens have as much drama as we do with our broody hens, chicks, and mother hens. So yesterday the mother hatched out two lovely little chicks. In the afternoon she had them out near the coop and in the evening she safely slept with them under the coop (which is fenced in, so she was safe. When she departed the nest a broody black hen immediately took over sitting on the eggs. This morning I woke up and went outside to let everyone out and was delighted to hear a strong peeping underneath the black hen! I ran in to tell everyone and when we came back out the black hen was gone, but there was this:
Unlike last month’s drama this chick was almost fully out of its egg and appeared to be quite strong. We stood around to see if the hen would come back, but she didn’t, so we decided to put the chick under a light. By the way, check out the tip of the chick’s beak-that is its “egg tooth”, which helps it tap its way out of the shell.
It wasn’t long before it had shook off that last bit of eggshell. After a couple of hours it had dried and fluffed up a bit.
I don’t think there’s anything wrong with it as it’s moving about pretty well. I’d love to see it able to join up with the mother and other baby chicks, though I don’t know if that’s going to happen. I brought it over to them and placed it on the ground near them and when it peeped she clucked and seemed interested, but then turned around and showed the other two a bit of food she found. The new one is not up to running around after her yet, but perhaps later today I’ll try again. I’ve wondered about slipping it underneath her tonight while she sleeps, too. It looks exactly like the other two so I don’t think it would be an easy pecking target.
Oh, and p.s. we took the eggs away and put them under the lamp (though I fear much too hot) and the black hen returned to that nesting box anyway and is sitting in there all broody.