Tuesday, August 7, 2012

EggBerta is a Momma Hen!

She's a stressed out mom...as I would be!  She's a worry wart!
I couldn't resist, I had to make our broody Wyandotte a mom!  I'd toyed with the idea of getting a half dozen fertilized eggs and putting them under her to hatch, but we're not quite ready for that yet!  We only have room for 1 more full grown hen, and I wouldn't know what to do with the extra chickies...and what if one hatched a rooster?!  One of these days we'll have a house with a big yard and coop and for sure a handsome rooster, but currently we're only allowed 3 hens. The only other option was to get a 3 day old chick from the Urban Farm Store and pull the ole' switch-er-oo!  When we originally got EggBerta she was supposed to be an Americauna so we thought it fitting for her to mother one :)   I did some research and called the Farm Store and the babies were arriving on Friday.  The only problem was that I work until 7pm and the store closes at 6pm, so I put the idea out of my mind and figured we'd just wait until her next period of broodiness ~ it just wasn't meant to be. As luck would have it, right before I went to lunch that very same Friday my supervisor asked me to leave 2 hours early to make up for OT.  It didn't even hit me until the ride home at 5 that we could make it to the store! It was a sign! I called Cam and told him I'd be pulling up shortly and to meet me out front, and off we were to get Shelly!  There were a lot of different breeds at the store but we only looked at the "Easter Eggers" and picked out the newest member of our flock, headed home, and waited just a little bit before we made the move. 

Oddly enough when we went in the yard EggBerta was out and about and I feared that her broody period was over. The chick was cheepin' away and when EggBerta finally went back on her nesting box we got the chick and placed it under her!  Shelly took to her new mom right away but EggBerta wasn't sure what to do!  She was pecking the chick to keep it underneath her and kind of started to purr, or coo.  It was cute.  We stayed outside until dark to make sure everyone was well behaved, and I was up at the crack of dawn next morning anxious to see how the night went.
We weren't too sly about it!

It's fun to watch EggBerta come down the ramp and that little ball of fluff peepin' and cheepin' to keep up!  During the day mom and baby have been staying in the chicken run with their own food and water, but on my lunch break and when I'm home in the am and pm they graze around the yard under our supervision.  Right now I'm gazing out the kitchen window watching them in amazement. Shelly will be able to fend for herself and be on her own in 6 week.  I hope EggBerta looks after her until then!

Shelly grazing on
her own.