LOCAL GANG NEWS: Proud new chicken (surrogate) Mama and Midwife


Immediate update (two Leah corrections): 1. Actually, there were eight eggs altogether. One exploded (because of gases inside from dead rotting matter), and two never hatched (weren’t fertilized? Who knows!). 2. Leah and her cousin designed and built the coop. Leah and her two sisters and father built the chicken yard fences.

SO! Leah came to live in our Green Acres ecopod with her five chickens all the way from Pittsburgh Pennsylvania last summer. Right away, she and her cousin constructed a large yard for them that surrounded their little coop (which she designed and made, back in Pennsylvania). Next, we’ve enjoyed chickens, and their eggs — and especially, the joyous “cluck cluck cluck aaaaah!” that they warble with each new member’s egg. This rejoicing goes on four times a day. It used to go on five times a day, until one of the chickens took sick and died.

A while ago, one of the four chickens of Aaron, another young permie, was run over by a car. Around the same time, a neighbor had offered to give him more chickens (he lives in the countryside, so can have unlimited chickens, unlike here, where five is the limit). But . . . the very day before the chicks were to go to Aaron, they all got eaten by a raccoon.

Meanwhile, one of Leah’s chickens was acting “broody” — which means that she kept staying on her infertile eggs and not leaving them, as if they were going to hatch. She remained there for several days (we presume she hops on and off for food and water, but Leah just told me that when she picked her up just now, she had lost a lot of weight).

Talk about timing! You can already tell where this story is going, right?

Aaron and Leah hatched a plan wherein they would substitute five fertilized eggs (he has a rooster) for Leah’s broody hen’s five eggs. Once they hatch, after two weeks they can be transported to Aaron’s place.

The eggs were under their substitute mother hen for 21 days, and hatched on the 22nd day.

The last one hatched this morning. Leah was present for each one as it met the world. Here are her pics.

is he dead? NO!

When I saw this, I asked her, “He the chick dead?” NO. “They all look like that at first.”

sitting on newbornmore again!more!eyes open

Oh my! Life just has a way of going on, no matter how we try to stop or alter it.

Finally, here’s a photo of the little cage Leah built inside the chickens’ larger pen for this laying in period. Notice the (repurposed) roof. From the old cob oven!

(Presuming her adult chickens accept it, she will keep one of the chicks to replace the one that died.)

Cob Oven Saga


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2 Responses to LOCAL GANG NEWS: Proud new chicken (surrogate) Mama and Midwife

  1. Sylvia says:

    We once had a hen so broody she wouldn’t get up to eat or drink while on her eggs, so once a day we would lift her off and put her on the ground next to some food and water. She would wake up as if from a trance and eat and drink and then return to her eggs!

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