As our laying chickens are approaching 2 years old, we decided this year to try to replenish our laying production and add a few more chickens to the group in hopes to keep egg production continuous. We had originally hoped our Buff Orpington chicken would go broody and would hatch us some babies, however, by the time she went broody, we had brought home the four Black Australorp/Black Star chicks. Our one Buff Orpington aka “Buffy” (I know, real original) stayed broody and we thought, oh hell let her hatch a few more chicks. Dummy us, we did not mark the eggs she was sitting on and she decided to switch nesting boxes one weekend. We couldn’t tell if she brought the eggs with her or left them out and abandoned. So we collected the eggs, candled them and guessed right and destroyed the eggs she halfway incubated. She did this again, and we still did not learn our lesson with marking the egg. Finally, one last chance we gave her, we marked the egg this time and let her sit on it. Again, we weren’t very smart b.c instead of tossing a few more eggs under her we just left her be with the one egg. It seems to be a continuous learning process for us.
Anyways, Friday afternoon I came home, knowing she was about three weeks in, I pushed her off the nesting box, asking her if she was ever going to hatch a baby and saw a broken egg underneath her. My first thought was oh great, she smashed the egg, it was never fertilized, that’s it, we are done with this broody nonsense. But then, I saw this teeny tiny black head pop out from under her!! She did it! She hatched her baby!!!!
I was just ecstatic. Our first born on the farm! Of course I was not prepared for this, I surly thought she’d abandon her egg and the likeliness of one egg surviving and hatching just seemed slim to none. For now, she is raising her baby in the coop with the original 12 chickens and seems to be doing a good job of protecting it. She has spent the weekend taking it out for strolls during the day where it stays right behind her occasionally imitating her pecking at the ground. For now this works, since it is too tiny to reach the adult food and needs baby food. But 12 weeks of it being on a different food type than the rest of the flock is going to be a situation we’ll have to sort out here in the next week or two. But for now, here are some baby pictures 🙂