Chicky Mamas & Chicky Babies

☆ May 27, 2015

chicky mamas

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.


31 Responses to “Chicky Mamas & Chicky Babies”

  1. Marg
    May 27th, 2015 @ 8:55 am

    Ohhhh, can I come visit you so I can experience all this? I envy you!

  2. annnoe
    May 27th, 2015 @ 9:21 am

    Just what I needed to start my day in a serene frame of mind. Thanks!

  3. Marla
    May 27th, 2015 @ 10:26 am

    My daughter has 5 laying hens in her back yard – the chicken house is a repurposed outhouse! I could watch them for hours. They are very entertaining and with each visit provide me an abundance of simple joy.

  4. Meg
    May 27th, 2015 @ 10:54 am

    Cuteness overload!!

    Do these two black beauties have names?

  5. Sherri
    May 27th, 2015 @ 11:36 am

    Awwwww thank you for sharing!!! They are adorable in person I am sure. <3 <3 Will you keep them all?

  6. torre
    May 27th, 2015 @ 12:19 pm

    cute!! what a life you lead :) the wonder if new baby animals :)

  7. wright1
    May 27th, 2015 @ 1:13 pm


  8. Lindsay
    May 27th, 2015 @ 1:46 pm

    I know it’s not always glamourous but you live the life, Shreve. I find myself smiling every single time I read a post you write.

    Thanks so much for sharing your life with us. :)

  9. hello haha narf
    May 27th, 2015 @ 3:04 pm

    exciting to know that they trust you with their babies! so wonderful. hens are great mamas. thanks for sharing the story.

  10. Kristin
    May 27th, 2015 @ 7:45 pm

    Chicken house pictures? Please! :)

  11. Prairie girl
    May 27th, 2015 @ 9:12 pm

    Such a heartwarming story, Shreve!
    Another amazing day on the farm. All smiles, here. :)

  12. mlaiuppa
    May 27th, 2015 @ 9:33 pm

    Just the look on those two mama’s faces show they mean business.

    Six doesn’t seem very many between the two of them. Are there still eggs waiting to hatch?

    Are the rogue poufs safe outside?

    Do Chloe and Charlie guard the chickens as part of the farmily pack or do you keep them both away from the chickens for everyone’s well being?

    I seem to recall a time when you were a bit reticent about having chickens. Changed your mind?

  13. Carol K
    May 27th, 2015 @ 9:34 pm

    I just love hens and chicks, their actions are so cute as mom shows them how to peck.

  14. Sandy G.
    May 27th, 2015 @ 10:54 pm

    How cool! Cute and very funny about the mama hens chasing the other ones away.

  15. Patr
    May 28th, 2015 @ 6:43 am

    And you were so afraid of chickens at one time!!!! You have an amazing ability with animals.

  16. Susie B
    May 28th, 2015 @ 7:59 am

    Life’s best recovery medicine — more life!

  17. Amy
    May 28th, 2015 @ 10:02 am

    I am positively swooning.

  18. Deborah
    May 28th, 2015 @ 10:10 am

    Reading this has made my day. That you take the simple pleasures — weeding, planting — and embellish them — holding a fluffy chick! — and the reverence you show for these pleasures never ceases to impress me. What a life you have!

  19. Patricia Long
    May 28th, 2015 @ 10:58 am

    I love your blog on the two beautiful black hens and their six baby chicks! It does not surprise me that you were allowed to enter and touch a chick!

  20. Joy
    May 28th, 2015 @ 1:08 pm

    Oh, what a sweet story to share with us. Thank you! P.S. Is the ram shown in some
    earlier pictures part of your farmily or just a visitor having his picture taken?

  21. SEMcC
    May 28th, 2015 @ 3:50 pm


  22. Judy
    May 29th, 2015 @ 6:44 am

    Just the best!!

  23. shreve
    May 29th, 2015 @ 8:16 am

    J ~ the rams live at a friend’s house :)

  24. Theresa Szpila
    May 29th, 2015 @ 3:03 pm

    Thanks, Shreve, for posting about the momma and baby chickens. I’m not surprised the hens allow you to handle their babies – chickens are very smart birds and they know they can trust you.

    One of my favorite childhood memories is of a visit my mom and I made to an egg/chicken farmer while on vacation. This was nearly sixty years ago, when farms were family-owned and free range was the norm, so there were chickens of different breeds all over the place. The farmer’s son had his own chickens, too – he raised bantams – and proudly showed them off. Sitting with him and his chickens, and having one of his bantams lay an egg on my lap, gave me a priceless memory I cherish to this day. And made me very fond of chickens!

  25. taffy
    June 1st, 2015 @ 1:39 pm

    Oh that is a softest little thing to see there beside one of the mom. i remember our bantam chicks, so small, they look like little bumble bees following mom around. Wondering if “the rogue pouf” have gotten broody at all yet!

  26. taffy
    June 1st, 2015 @ 1:39 pm


  27. taffy
    June 1st, 2015 @ 7:14 pm

    oops, typo city! *moms

  28. Deborah
    June 1st, 2015 @ 8:29 pm

    They are precious and what god mommas these gals are!

  29. Nancy
    June 2nd, 2015 @ 10:50 am

    What cute “girlfriends” these mama’s are! Love all your stories, pictures and heartwarming feelings they all bring about. Thanks for sharing as always!

  30. steph nelsen
    June 3rd, 2015 @ 10:40 pm

    chickkens are my favorite

  31. steph nelsen
    June 3rd, 2015 @ 10:41 pm

    chickens. crap

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