Sweet Pea’s a Mom

Our little banty chicken is broody.  She tried incubating a couple of duck eggs, but they ended up not being fertile.  We switched out the duck eggs for 4 fertile chicken eggs.  Chicken eggs take 21 days to hatch. 

Sweet Pea incubating her clutch.

Early this afternoon I heard a strange noise when I walked by Sweet Pea.  She had an unmistakable wide-eyed, confused expression.  I probably wouldn’t have stopped what I was doing if I hadn’t noticed her behavior.  When I tried to get under her to get a look at the hatched chick, Sweet Pea went into protective mom mode.  I know that mode well so I decided to give her a little time.  I went back to her with a glove on one hand and a camera in the other.  I was able to get my picture but she knew which hand to peck…  and it wasn’t the hand with the glove.  This time she had an expression that said, “OMG… I’m a mom”!  She’s so happy and content.  This chicken has been broody for so long and I just know she was praying for some babies to lead around.  How do I know this?  Her box is right next to our most-used door, on a gardening bench.  We talk to her a lot.

Not only is she broody, but she’s bossy too.  She used to be the leader of her flock until she found a new priority.  She’s a tiny little chicken that is the boss lady of all our animals.  This chicken has personality… she’ll make a great mom.  Click here  for some great photos of a chick hatching.

First photo of Sweet Pea's little chick. Can you see it under there? She was attacking me while I took the photo.

The chick keeps peeking out from under her.

I called my friend right after the chick hatched.  I never thought about what to do when they actually hatched.  She said that Sweet Pea knew what to do and to give them a quiet, safe place.  So I did.

I made them a tent on our screened-in porch. I was worried about snakes, but really, I feel sorry for any snake that gets near that bird.

There are three more eggs to hatch.  We can hardly wait!

 
Come grow with us!

5 Responses to “Sweet Pea’s a Mom”

  1. 9bgardener Says:

    Congrats to Sweet Pea! That is truly one determined little bird, and with incubators & heated brooders the norm nowadays, it’s heartwarming to see “natural chicken birth.” The sides of the nest box look pretty high all around so the chicks probably won’t be stepping out on their own when they’re ready. She may push them out just the way she pushed the eggs around to turn & rearrange them before hatching. At any rate, are you able to pry some of the upper slats on one side of her nest box off so that in a couple of days when she takes the chicks out for their first walk and trip to the food & water station, they won’t have a big tumble and can re-enter more easily? You could work on it after sunset and it might not bother her as much. Whatever the arrangements, Good Luck & Best Wishes to all!

    • While I was writing the post, two more eggs hatched. I moved them into a huge galvanized bucket under the tent on the porch. It has plenty of space for all of them to move around and I put a baby chick food & water container inside it. I’m sure moma hen will want to take them out into the big, bad world soon. When I notice them getting antsy, I’ll move them out of the bucket. I’ve got a plan. She still has one more egg that she’s still sitting on and she’s determined to hatch it. When (and if) she does, I’m sure the whole gang will be ready to start moving around more. She’s a funny hen. She likes that we’re so interested in her & her chicks. She seems proud.

  2. 9bgardener Says:

    Ingenious! Lucky Sweet Pea is obviously a member of the family. I love this story: Chicken with Attitude gets to live out Life Long Dream.

  3. Cool, Lis!

    I’ll have to check out the family next time I’m in town!

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