adorable! A half a dozen darling chicks. We left on our trip, with the animals in the capable hands of a local girl who also has chickens. Though we’d intended to clean out the nests for her we just left them alone with instructions to not gather any eggs and not worry.
To our surprise, on Monday (yesterday) she texted to say that more chicks hatched and there were now…..TWELVE BABY CHICKS! Yep, in our absence (and free of our meddling) six more chicks hatched. I couldn’t wait to get home and see them. This morning (Tuesday) I went to see them and there they all were. Some 5 days old with little wings, and some clearly only 1 or 2 days old. Amazingly they were all mingled together under sort of watchful eyes of two (three?) moms.
When I opened the door to the henhouse I discovered, in the empty nest, what looked like a wet, dead chick. But I saw a tiny breath in it. And seeing a hen in the next nest felt it was a worth a shot to pick it up and stick it under her. A few hours later it was dry and fluffy, though not especially strong looking. And locking up the chickens tonight I found it dead on the floor. Unlucky #13. But……..unbelievably……under that hen? A brand new peeping chick! I just saw it! Looking very sprightly. So, that brings the total to 13 baby chicks. And let’s hope that’s it. And that they’re not all roosters. Speaking of roosters, I’m thinking that the incredible rise in the fertility in the coop is due to the new rooster who took over this winter. He’s evidently a much more effective, well, you know.
The twelve chicks and two mothers have all squeezed into one of the outdoor nesting boxes to sleep tonight. I can’t imagine they will all fit in there longer than another few days at most.
At the beginning of May we had 13 adult chickens. Now we have 13 adults, 7 adolescents, and 13 babies, for a total of 33. That’s a rather dramatic increase!