It’s been two months since I told you the story of Penelope and her disappearing eggs…and the new chicks smuggled in so she could raise them. (If you missed the story, you can find it here.)
I thought it was about time for an update with pictures of the (finally) happy family…but first, the rest of the story:
After the night that my friend, Linda (who owns Penelope) and I stuffed 5 new babies under Penelope and heard her cooing to them, we thought all was well. And in some respects it was…but the trauma wasn’t over…
By the following afternoon, a dead chick was found a ways away from mama and babies. It was thought she somehow got tangled in some wire and couldn’t get loose. By the next day, two more were dead. One of them was missing a leg.
Linda hustled out to the feed store and brought home 5 new chicks, figuring things weren’t looking so good for this new mama. Shortly after that, another two chicks died.
Penelope and family were in the coop with the rest of the flock. Linda worried that the other hens might be killing the newbies (especially with a chick with a missing leg). Since there was no place to put the new family away from the flock, she kicked the flock out of the coop and into the run for a while. No more chicks died.
Chicken Math for this project:
9 fertilized eggs = zero living chicks
10 new baby chicks = 5 that made it
19 total possibilities = 5 happy new additions to the flock
The take away of this story: OVER PLAN.
All and all, the saga of a broody hen that wanted to raise a family started out a bit bumpy. But, I’m happy to report that all the remaining chicks and their adoptive mother are doing great. They’ve adjusted well to the rest of the flock and seem happy and healthy.
Sometimes raising chickens just requires more tenacity, creativity and (definitely) more money than you might think!