A couple of days ago I peered in at the broody ladies & could hear tiny cheeps coming from underneath one of them. Then the tiniest, CUTEST little black Pekin chick popped it's head out from underneath Florence's feather petticoats! After 7 years of poultry keeping I was finally able to celebrate my first natural hatching - BIG FAT YAY!
Middle Son & I carefully carried Florence & chick down to the garden & popped them into an old rabbit hutch where they would have peace & quiet & be safe from the cockerels. Want to see? Here is proud Momma Florence with little Boo:
The following day another, almost identical chick popped out from underneath Nutmeg!! As Nutmeg still had eggs under her I took the new arrival down to the garden & popped it in with Florence & Boo. Florence gave no 2 chick a bit of a peck at first, but undeterred little Peek wriggled underneath her new Momma & from then on became one of the family unit.
Florence has been a perfect Momma Hen, fussing & clucking away at her babies. It really is a joy to watch. Here she is teaching Boo (or is it Peek?!) to feed:
Now Snow White, another silkie cross, has joined the fearsome egg sitters so I'm hoping that some more chicks will hatch very soon. Then Nutmeg can be a Momma Hen too after her hours of dedicated broodiness.
Although I feel slightly redundant after being used to playing the Momma Hen role myself there is nothing quite as beautiful as watching a natural mother with her babies. The hatching was certainly a lot less stressful! No endless checking of an incubator & the worries & responsibilites artificial hatching brings. Just managed perfectly and simply by Mother Nature. Another of life's truly wonderful miracles.
So, Jess, if you read this, this must make you an honorary Aunty at the very least :0)