Monday, September 20, 2010

There's a new Mama in the henhouse!

Okay, so I have written about our hen and how she has been trying to hatch some babies for what seems like all summer long. She and another hen sat on 17 eggs total, which one by one turned rotten and had to be thrown out.

When it finally got down to 1 egg, I asked Nate to get rid of that last one and replace it with two freshly laid eggs. Slowly those two have turned into 9. She has stayed on the nest and there have been no stinky or cracked eggs. Since the first time wasn't successful, I think we had just kind of given up or at least forgotten about these eggs. But we shouldn't have. Today marked the 22nd day since the hen started sitting on the 2 new eggs. 3 weeks is the typical incubation period. If we had been paying attention, we could've watched them hatch!

So today when Nate went down to feed the chickens, lo and behold, he spied, alongside the hen, two little fuzz balls in the chicken yard! He started screaming for mom and she, in the middle of dinner preparations, ran down to check them out.

Sure enough, they had made it down the high, steep ramp from the little room they hatched in and were pecking around in the dirt. We had prepared a smaller cage for the last bunch, to keep the mama and babies separate until they were to get older. So mom worked at catching each of the babies to put them in there, but the mama hen didn't want any of that. She gave mom a couple of good pecks! But mom was able to get the chicks in the cage and the mama went right in after them.

Once they were settled, mom and Nathan worked to get the rest of the eggs down in the cage with the hen, just in case she wants to set on them anymore. We'll see about that.

But here is a mystery. I said there were two chicks. Well, listen to this. Mom and Nate only found one egg shell and there are eight eggs left. Which makes me wonder if these two did not come out of the same egg. Twin chicks? Is it possible?  I don't know. But I have seen eggs with double-yolks. It's a mystery...

So anyways, we are really excited and hopeful that both of these chicks are girls! We have one rooster and that's enough. Pictures soon to follow...

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