Congratulations Alice and James!!!
O.k., so this is all a little tongue in cheek, I admit, but I'm just so darn happy! Our hen, Alice, who went broody a couple of months ago hatched her first chick.
We had decided about 3 1/2 weeks ago to let her keep her clutch and moved her to the "infirmary" coop so she would stop stealing more eggs. We set her up with her own food and water, plenty of hay to keep her and her eggs warm and generally left her alone with her nesting and incubation inclination. (Say that 10 times fast!) We checked on her from time to time, making sure she had water and food, that nothing had made it's way in to bother her. But we had no idea if any of the eggs under her were fertile and viable or not. One day when it was warm I had opened her coop door to let in some fresh air. Alice proceeded to take a break from her nest, so I carefully stole her eggs to see if I could candle them. I just couldn't get any of our rooms dark enough to be able to tell, so I gave up and brought the eggs back out to her coop. In the meantime, Alice had proceeded to take up residence in the nesting boxes again and try to steal some of the other girls' eggs. I put the kibosh to that, restoring her to her rightful clutch and shut the door, wondering if we weren't all just wasting our time.
So we just kept checking on her. Now, I've been on a bit of hiatus due to, ummhmm, "lady troubles" as I delicately tell my children, so I personally hadn't checked on Alice since Wednesday afternoon. I had asked the kids to, but, well, we all know how that can go. So early this afternoon I decided to take a peek, figuring I was wasting my time. As soon as I opened the coop door, Alice immediately did her puff ball impersonation. This was unusual, she only does that when you try to get near her. Then I heard the cheep cheep of a baby bird. I stuck my upper half further into the coop to make sure it was coming from inside, and sure enough it was. I carefully lifted Alice up and found the cutest little ball of yellow fluff! I was so "eggcited" you would have thought that I had hatched the darn thing myself!!!! I couldn't wait to tell the kiddos and DH.
I know that we are not the first people to have a hen hatch her eggs, but in this day and age of incubators and mail ordered chicks, it's pretty exciting. I admit to being somewhat envious of my fellow homesteading bloggers showing and telling of their new babies in the barn and coop, especially since our Easter Egger chicks aren't due to arrive until mid-May. But now we have our own baby, which Teddy Bear named Jenny for now, or Willy if names need to be changed. (Please pray it stays Jenny!)
|Baby Jenny snuggling with Mama.|
|Mama Alice, with 6 more eggs under her, and her baby.|
|James and the girls enjoying some birdseed I threw out to them in |
celebration of the joyous occasion. It's the chicken equivalent of passing out
cigars. (Yes, I know that they all don't have a clue!)
So, that in an egg shell, is our home hatch story. I'm hoping to have more siblings to join Jenny, but if not, that's o.k., too. Well, I'm going to try to relax for now. I have my laproscopy tomorrow morning, with a long drive before and after, so I think I'm going to just chill and read some blog posts from the Homesteading Barn Hop.