Thursday, June 11, 2009

With a cheep, cheep here...

...and a cheep, cheep there

Last week's rain seemed to usher in a wave of new life here at our place. We have a new little heifer calf, five new kittens, and a dozen hen-hatched chicks. Calves and kittens we always have plenty of, but this is the first time a setting hen has followed through to become a chicken mommy.

Glen found the Black Star's nest in the square baler two weeks ago when we were putting first crop up. He had told me that chickens like balers when our hens first started laying last summer – and I would dutifully check there for eggs on my daily egg hunt. I never once found any eggs in the baler, so I quit looking.

But this hen had 17 of them there. Glen put the eggs in cardboard box with some straw and left it at that. Not knowing what had transpired, I later saw the box of eggs in the front of the machine shed and a bewildered-looking hen clucking around in the back of the machine shed where the baler had been parked. I put two and two together and moved the box to the back of the shed. I successfully shooed the hen close enough to the box that she eventually hopped in. To our surprise, she accepted her new nest and kept on setting.

Glen announced the chicks' arrival yesterday. Dan and I were so excited we rushed right out to greet the newest members of our farm family. 14 of the eggs hatched and 12 of the 14 chicks are toddling around in the box, peeking out from under hen's wings to peck at feed and cheep. They look just like a picture out of Old MacDonald's story book.

Here's to the miracle of new life.

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