Sister hens on nest, with brand new chicks


There are baby chicks in the barn!
Born in the barn!This is kinda remarkable.
The ability to brood
has been bred out of many chickens
since the poultry industry
doesn’t want hens doing that.
That’s one reason agrarians
are raising heritage breeds.
We’ve been glad to have
a rooster and hen Cochins,
a Chinese variety
not suitable for industrial poultry operations.
The Cochin hens are known to brood
and hatch eggs.
So we were thrilled when she took to a box
and sat on a pile of eggs,
laid there by a variety of hens.
And then,
in the corner
in the coop
inside the barn,
another hen began sitting
on an even larger pile of eggs.
And hens kept adding to the pile.
And then there were two hens,
brooding on the same nest.
Sure enough,
there were baby chicks in the barn.
At least four
in the coop with the sister hens.
At least one under the gray Cochin mom.
This is much to celebrate:
These are the first chicks
hatched by chickens
in our barn.
We have from time to time
taken eggs from the barn
and hatched them in the incubator.
Once, a hen sat on a nest in the barn
for two weeks,
but then she got up and didn’t return.
So it is a thrill
to see the natural thing
once again.