We’ve had a little excitement here on the farm. One of our hens that is just a year old herself, decided to go broody on us a few weeks ago. There were a few times that I tried to break her of being broody, I even went as far as setting her in a snow bank to cool her down and to hopefully get her to change her mind but, she was dead set on being a mamma so finally I gave her her wish.
I first started by making a nest in our big dog kennel and putting her and an egg in there close to the door. Within an hour she had moved the egg to the back of the kennel, and was sitting on the egg as if she was sitting on a million bucks. She screeched at me every time I came poking around. It was a good sign.
Finally a week ago this past Wednesday I went and picked up four bantie chicks to see if she would mother them.
I ran to town and picked up the babies and brought them home waiting for Hubs to get home so we could move the hen and huge dog kennel up to my heated shop since we were in the middle of a snow storm at this point. Amazingly, she sat like Buda the whole way up to the shop while the wind and snow pushed us around. She wasn’t bothered one bit but us or the weather.
Next we brought the babies up from the house to the shop and placed them in the kennel with her. At this point we weren’t sure if she would hurt them, get up and walk away or mother them. She looked for a split second, stood up, and the babies instinctively run under momma if if they were born there. Then she plopped down on them like she had done this many, many times before.
Hubs and I sat in amazement. Mommas clucking went from a broody, ornery clucking to a motherly loving chatter. And those chicks knew exactly what she was telling them. They spent the first two days in the dog kennel, but we’ve since moved momma and her babes to a larger cage, so she has lots of room to move around. Being indoors is not how a chicken likes to live, so Hubs and I brought the group outside yesterday to enjoy the sun and to allow momma a chance to have a good dirt bath which she really enjoyed and so deserved.
Momma dug worms for the babies, all the while clucking a special cluck that apparently tells them she has food for them, and to get their feathered butts over to her asap.
She was meant to be a mother, there is no doubt in my mind!
It will be a few weeks before we introduce the new family to the rest of the group, so for now they will live up in my shop.