Red Wicket Market Farm is a small farm 25 minutes from downtown Columbus, Ohio, near Slate Run Metropark. Breeding Black Copper and Blue Copper Marans to the Standard of Perfection.

Sunday, March 31, 2013

Mama Hen had Chicks!

We've been waiting. And waiting. And waiting.

I'd have taken more photos, but she only got off the nest a couple times in 21 days.

For 21 days, we've been waiting, just like this Dark Cornish hen. She is sitting on four eggs: one white, one green, one brown, and one cream. Luckily, she was a lot more patient than I am.

On 3/27, we were all rewarded for our patience.

After that, two more!

The green egg didn't hatch. We candled it, and it wasn't fertile.
Mama Hen and the new chicks rested in the nest for about 24 hours, then Mama brought them out to teach them how to eat and drink. The day was warm(ish) and sunny, and they basked in the sun for a while.

The yellow chick with the spot on its head is under Mama.

Socks the cat thought that baby chicks might make a nice snack. Mama Hen very quickly taught her that she was wrong. Have you ever seen a more dangerous looking bird? After she chased off the cat, Mama shepherded her babies right back inside the nest.

I've never seen that cat run so quickly. Mama Hen pecked her right on the nose.
Sometimes hens are great at hatching chicks, but not so good at protecting them after they're hatched. This hen is great at both, so far. She'll raise these chicks until she feels ready to go back to egg laying, and when she wants to sit on more eggs, we'll be happy to oblige. Good broody hens are few and far between, and this bird will have an honored place at Red Wicket--egglaying not required!

We have 15 eggs in the incubator, too. They're set to hatch today--Easter Sunday. I'll post photos on Facebook as soon as I'm able--come be my friend! Keep your fingers crossed for us--hatching in an incubator never works quite as well as when Mama does it naturally, so I have no idea how many chicks will hatch. 

Uh, oh. More waiting. Sigh.

Happy Easter, everyone!