Thursday, July 25, 2013

A Pleasant Surprise!

This week we had the pleasure of a big surprise. The baby chicks have hatched. Since we forgot to record the date on which we had set the eggs, we were greatly surprised when we walked into the hen house and there sat the mother on the ground, covering several of her new chicks.Four to be exact, and they appeared to be a couple of days old. Evidently, with all of the hustle and bustle around here, Pop did not look that closely when he did the evening chores. He has so much company, sometimes he fails to check on them at all. Nevertheless, the Old Mother Hen and the babies had managed to jump down from the upper row of nests, where she had been setting,to the ground. Amazing how the babies can do that and survive. They all four appeared healthy, so we gathered them and the Mom up, and put them in an enclosed cage, hopefully,away from the snakes. A dreaded fate for some chicks.There were a few eggs still in the nest, so I checked them out. Only one of them had pipped.  I helped it out of it's shell and took it inside the house and dried it's feathers with the hair dryer, hoping to help it along. The Mom did not seem quite intent enough,to me, anyway, to nurture it along.She was too busy scratching for food, for her new family. The next morning,all five babies were still thriving. The Mom had scratched the remaining eggs aside, so we discarded them and left her to care for her new family of five babies. That's just enough to satisfy our desire to nurture something for now.

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