Just after I hit 'publish post' yesterday I went out to feed the animals and found a very happy surprise. Another chick! This is certainly one of those times I'm so happy to be wrong.
Eight days after the first one hatched along straggles number two. And just as I was about to toss the remaining eggs. So much for the advise that if they don't all hatch within 3 days they probably won't hatch at all.
I actually walked in the hen house to find this Rhode Island Red sitting o the nest. I shooed her away because I thought she was just adding to it and I didn't want to get the eggs mixed up. What a shock to see a hatching in progress!
The Red was shaken off just momentarily and Mama jumped on to cover the wet baby, as you can see below. There it is, still in it's half shell. When I came back later May had Mama on the run again and the Red was back in place. Now we have two mamas, each with her own babe. How sweet they are! What's so surprising is that this Red (and none of the other Reds) has ever shown any signs of broodiness. But what a good, protective mama she is! I was just out the checking up on things and she's sitting loyally on the nest, keeping her baby safely by.
Have you ever watched a chicken mama with her babes? It's so wonderful to see. She stays puffed up all the time, ready to draw her babe in under her at a moments notice. I lost track of the Red for moment after I shooed her off, but there could be no mistaken her in her puffed up state and she eagerly ran back to the nest, making a quiet little noise, seeming to 'talk' to her little one. Love!
On a completely different topic, do you know what this is? Not the mock strawberry leaves but the roundish ones. There's a whole bunch behind the house and I was wondering because I really thought I had just seen then on a web site of wild herbs but now I just can't find it. Any guess?