So here is the result of letting my crazy Cochin hen set her own eggs. As you can see, the results went really well! 3 out of 4 eggs hatched. The ‘dad’ is a Silkie and the ‘bio mom’ is ???, though I think that for the 2 little white hens it is a bantam Cochin mother. These pics are from June, but now, the little guys are all feathered out and interestingly enough, they all have ‘ear muffs’, and a mohawk. I’ll have to grab some new pics soon. Another interesting thing is that while my brooder raised chicks all contracted coccidia, these guys did not. So there ya’ go…probably better to let Mother Nature ‘do her thing’ rather than depend on an incubator.
Another funny thing is that this hen, I thought for sure, would be dead about a year ago. We rescued her from a really bad situation. Her butt was LITERALLY ripped off…she is missing a lot of her tail. I am sure a dog got a good hold of her at some point. Anyway, when I first got her, she was so thin and ugly, I gave the poor thing a bath. She was absolutely filthy, and had huge gaps in her skin. I have no idea how long she had suffered along with that, but after her bath, she did nothing but get better. So, as you can see, she made it another year and did a great job raising these babies for me.
If you have never been around a mother hen and chicks, it is so neat to watch them interact. You can really see in the first few photos she is teaching them to peck the ground. The chicks are only a few days old in these pics. She makes a very soft clucking sound over and over and the chicks immediately stop what they’re doing and do whatever mom is doing. I wonder…would my kids respond to clucking???