ANZ's Farms

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Mother's Day

Can you see the chick's head sticking out of her feathers?
This intense-looking girl celebrated her first Mother's Day last Sunday. On day 21, two of the six eggs hatched into adorable baby chicks ... one tan with dark brown markings from the green shell, an Ameracauna, and the other black with a white fluffy bum, a Cuckoo Maran like my broody hen. After day 25, I pulled the remaining eggs. Closer inspection revealed they were never fertilized. So much for my candling skills!

She is a terrific mom. The babies follow her every where she goes and she is teaching them how to scratch for bugs in all the natural areas of my back yard. Throwing the pine straw off the grass and back under the roses in such a small price to pay for such cuteness.

I have to tell you a quick story about how fascinating nature is. I was in the kitchen and heard some awful squawking, definitely not the I-just-laid-an-egg announcement sound. I rushed out to see the Mother Hen making all that noise, standing alone near her nest. No baby chicks in sight. Then I saw the source of her alarm ... a crow perched on top of the nearby hay shed. My arrival scared off the crow, and as I stood there dumbstruck, I began to absorb what had just happened. The crow had taken the chicks. I thought of the 21 days Mother Hen had dutifully done nothing but sit on the eggs. I thought the week since, watching her diligent mothering and thinking of all the joy those little creatures had brought to us and our visitors in such a short time. As the loss was settling in, I saw Mother Hen rush over to a spot near the hydrangea. I headed that way too, wondering what she was doing. The moment she stopped next to the lariope border, out popped two little chicks. They had been hiding under the pine straw, but quickly rejoined her, staying close as I had always seen them do. My sorrow turned to amazement as I realized how she had protected them. And how they had known to stay put and out of sight as she left them and went off to sound the alarm. All glory to their Creator for such incredible instincts, especially in chicks just 7 days old.

1 comment:

  1. *love*! We just put 7 eggs under our broody Jersey Giant. Can't wait until June 8th!