☆ May 27, 2015
Two big black hens, identical but for their eye color, decided to get broody together and have been sitting on nests, side by side, in a corner of the chicken house. And now we have baby chicks! As of last night, there are six chicks between them. No one knows which is whose, and no one seems to care. Communal parenting at its best.
They take the babies out together, and return to the chicken house to rest together. The babies follow – and are surprisingly quick and athletic, popping over the log threshold of the chicken house even though it’s half again as tall as they are. When it’s time to nap, the hens settle themselves back onto their nests, and the chicks scurry under their wings and disappear beneath them.
The chicken house abuts one end of my garden, and as I spend mornings out there planting and weeding, I get to watch the antics. The rest of the chickens still roost in the chicken house at night (except for the rogue poufs), but during the day, the chicken house transforms into nursery, and the other chickens are not allowed entry. The mother hens take turns chasing out anyone who dares enter with flapping wings and shaming squawks.
But I pass the test (probably because I bring them food and water), and they let me tiptoe in and sit and watch, and the orange-eyed hen even let me reach a hand beneath her fluffy body, and once it was under there, I felt a chick climb onto my hand and perch on my finger.