A Hen and Her Chicks

If you're a regular reader, you might already know this, but I need to explain something before I begin. Our chicken George is a hen. She was the largest chick, so we all thought she might be a rooster, but she's not. She was also the only one of her kind, which we now know is an Easter Egger, so the name just stuck. I always get funny looks when I say George had some babies. But she did!


George got broody several weeks ago. I thought for sure nothing would come of it, but I let her be. The first day she changed nests, so we threw out the first eggs, and Gideon put seven fresh eggs under her. We figured it wouldn't hurt to lose seven more eggs if it didn't work.

Well, she just kept on sitting. The other hens quit laying in the coop, but I still didn't worry about moving her or putting her in a separate place. I mean, I really didn't think she would do it.

Well, on day 20, Eowyn came running in from doing the morning chores screaming that George had a chick under her. Eowyn was ecstatic. We all hustled out there to get a look, and sure enough, a teeny baby chick was moving around and under George. George wasn't very happy that we were in there, but the kids didn't care. They would stick their hands in her box and make her stand up a little so they could see the chick and check the other eggs. I am NOT that brave. I was not going near George.




But I was worried about the baby getting out of the box and falling, so we built some quick steps up to the nesting box in case George tried to get out. The rest of the day, we just checked on them periodically. The kids noticed another egg hatching and watched the chick break out of it. And then finally, a third was hatched too.



The last four eggs weren't doing anything by the end of the day, so I stuck a chick waterer and a pile of chick feed in the box with George and the babies. George was hungry and thirsty, and those babies dove right in too.


We left the last four eggs under George for another two days and even candled the eggs in between those days. Nothing was happening, though, so we removed them and moved George and the chicks into a predator-proof box in the new coop. The kids did a science experiment and cracked open the eggs to see what was inside. They weren't fully developed, although one was pretty close. It was a little sad for us, though.

Now George is taking care of her babies, and I swear these chicks are amazing. I've never seen chicks so lively, but they are and if Gideon puts a cricket in their box all four of them are fighting over it. The chicks grab it out of George's beak and take off running with it. So funny to watch.

Lately, in the mornings, George has let me know that she's ready to come out of the box. I've been left on guard duty while she takes a dust bath. You know, being a mother is difficult. She needs a moment to herself. The pullets all come over to see what she's doing, and it looks like they're saying "Mom?" But then she pecks their heads, so they run screaming, "Not Mom! Not Mom!" About a minute later, they try again.


Today was the first time the chicks followed her and watched her thinking she was eating something good. So tiny still, but I can't believe how much spunk they have. I've really enjoyed letting the mother hen take care of the babies, instead of me. It is so much easier! I haven't had to worry about lights, making sure they're eating, etc. I'm trying to build a self-propagating flock so that our flock will care for itself, and grow itself too. Since George is taking good care of her babies, she has earned a permanent place on our little homestead. The kids are relieved!


Aren't they cute, though? I've loved watching this, and the kids have too!


8 comments

  1. Hello!! I'm fairly new to your blog and have been enjoying - reading and learning!! :) Though we live on a (semi -hobby) farm - no chickens here!! Maybe one day!!

    Side note.. question for you. If you don't mind.

    I am intrigued by the fonts you choose to use. What photo editing site do you use - in order to select such nice fonts? I hope you don't mind me asking. For a long time I've used Picmonkey. And, now I've been using Fotor.com ... but, I thought it would nice to ask specifically... again, if you don't mind?

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    1. Thanks Bevy! I don't mind sharing my secrets. :) I use PicMonkey. The free version. For the fonts, I downloaded them to my computer and then use them on PicMonkey. The all caps font is called Sunday, and the script is called Meddon. Both are free. I also added Meddon to my blog template so I could use it for the titles and such.

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  2. Well.. I've wondered. Because I could never find them anywhere... looking through fonts on different sites. I never thought about downloading from other places (to use your own) - that makes sense!! Thank you so much for letting me in on the secret. LOL!!
    I think I've seen these same fonts, or similar, on a few other blogs that I enjoy reading and well...it's had me quite intrigued.

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  3. Congratulations to George! What a great lesson for the kids! So glad you shared this post on The Maple Hill Hop!

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  4. How exciting! I had chickens for a few years (getting ready to start again this fall). I always wanted one to go broody, and a couple acted like they were, but never actually hatched anything. That was disappointing.

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  5. Thanks for sharing this with us on the Homestead Blog Hop.

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  6. The only way to go--I'm a big fan of letting mama do it herself. Way to go! They are 12 times as cute when mama takes care of them, aren't they?
    Blessings,

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