I kid you not. I walked out to check on the mama in the little tractor – the one with the four chicks that surprised us by hatching while we were gone, three of which we let her keep – and she had somehow doubled her numbers overnight. She was off the nest all day yesterday, until about 7 p.m. I saw her jump in the nest, and there she sat all night. So we’ll call today their birthday – 8/18/10. (I had removed four of her “dud” eggs when we moved her to the little tractor, thinking it would give her new chicks more space under mom. Now I wonder if I tossed live chicks. Very sad at the thought.) There are two eggs left.
KIDS: Wow, Mommy, three more chicks! Cool!
Those were some hardy eggs. She abandoned them at least twice, the second time for nearly a day, and then yesterday from dawn ’til 7 p.m. – and yet they hatched. Amazing. Astounded, I am.
Also, freaking out. Friday, we had one lonely chick from 25 possible hatches. By tomorrow, we will have 34 days-old chicks. 34!!! Bringing our farm chicken total to 50.
I have the sinking feeling that I’ll be brooding some of the babies myself. I don’t know how many babies I can get the mamas to adopt. At least it’s warm enough to do it outside.