Thursday, May 15, 2014

Naturally nested chicks,The Godfather, Saved by DD

With  chickens  free ranging a whole acre its sometimes  easy to lose track of one.  Which I did. One of my hens surprised me  on Monday.  I found her in the  brush behind the barn crawling with babies.  9 of them.   9 perfect healthy chicks.   How she managed to  set for 21 days  outside the coop and pen without being eaten by  opossum, raccoons, the giant owl that lives in the tree by the barn or other predators is beyond me.  But there they were Monday morning.  She was cooing and the chicks were happily peeping.   I couldn't leave them there because all that chick activity is just a signal to the cat that lunch is ready.  I had to get the clippers and cut my way to her.  She was buried deep under  blackberries, english ivy, tall grass  and a butterfly bush.  It took about a half an hour just to get to her and then the fun started.  Picking up the first baby was easy but then she realized what I was doing and promptly set out to kill me.  While she tried to kill me her  young scattered in every direction.  It took  three trips to the  temporary coop that I set up for her but, I finally had them all. Then I decide to catch her  so I could put her in with the babies.  Error in judgement occurs here.  Putting  my own safety first  I decided to shoo her into the pen and I hoped  when she heard her babies she would go to them.  It worked. She did.  I opened the  small pen and she ran right in.    Much cooing and happiness followed.  They are adorable. And they will be adorable for the next 6 weeks. Then... they will be chickens.   More.....chickens.  Anybody want a couple of very cute rare breed, naturally nested  chickens?    Blue laced red wyandottes are a rare breed and very expensive and YOU can have them for free.     Seriously, I didn't expect  that any of my hens would go broody let alone set on a clutch all the way to hatching.  The broody attribute has been bred out of most of the chickens we have in the united states.  
Little Mammas timing was awful. I am in the middle of painting the upstairs  because  THE Godfather is coming and Jimmy is freaked out. Its his Godfather's first visit and Jimmy wants to make a good impression.  Jimmy is working so most of the crap work to get ready for this visit falls to me.  I  finally called DD on Monday and asked for help putting the  house back together.  She came up yesterday and worked like a whirlwind to get two bedrooms cleaned and 5 huge bookshelves moved.    I did one room in the time it took for her to do two.    The bookshelves  HAD to be moved because when we pulled the  giant glassed book case, that came with the house, away from the wall, we discovered a second intake  vent behind it that was completely clogged and useless.  We think maybe that is why the central heat hasn't worked right since we moved in.  Sheesh.
I am a very lucky  woman to have a daughter that will drop everything to come rescue her Mom.  And rescue she did.  I would be in  tears  right now and probably chasing Jimmy around the yard with a  hatchet if she  hadn't shown up.  Thanks to her all is well right now.  I still have to get all the curtains washed and rehung and standard   'company's comin'" scrubbing to do... but the big crazy furniture moving part of it is done.
If I didn't have so much  work to do right now, I would be sitting in the chicken pen  admiring the babies. 

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