4 Christmas Countdown – Christmas Chicks

Last night we discovered that one of our hens hatched her chicks! I’m so excited! I woke up this morning and it was the first thing that popped into my mind and I just had to smile thinking about them!

This one hen has been sitting – obviously for about 21 days! – and I had calculated that from when she started sitting, the eggs should hatch sometime around the first of December. She did a really great job sitting, but you just never know how these things are going to work out. The chickens we have now we bought from a hatchery so I wasn’t sure how doing it the old fashioned way was all going to play out.

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Last night when my nephew and I went out to feed them and shut them in the coop for the night, I saw that the hen was sitting on the floor and not in the little “box” that she’s been in. Nathaniel said he heard some “peeping” so we tried to lift up her wing and she wasn’t too happy about it, but we saw that she had two baby chicks underneath! One little yellow one and one little dark colored one.  We have chickens that are reddish/golden and some that are black and white speckled. I figured she was sitting on some of the other hens eggs, so seeing the different colored one proved that theory.

Halfway through her “sitting” period, the old roost where the chickens have been laying their eggs sort of started to lean, and it looked like it was going to collapse. I got freaked out because I didn’t want the thing to fall down and crush all the eggs that this poor hen had been working so hard to hatch. My brother came by that night and used his handyman magic to fix the roost and make it sturdy again. The little red hen didn’t move while he was doing this work. I was amazed by that. She’s such a good mom! He said when he was working, he slipped his hand under her to feel the eggs and he thought there was a handful underneath.  He and my dad were warning me that she might be setting on eggs that weren’t good, I guess they were trying to warn me not to get my hopes up. We do have three roosters though, who are quite diligent in their job, so I felt pretty confident on that end of things.

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Anyway, I came back to the house to tell Gabby and call my parents to tell them the good news. Gabby got the camera and we went back out to try to get a photo of the little cuties. I put on my gloves and gently lifted the hen completely off the ground. She didn’t seem to mind, I think she could sense that we weren’t there to hurt her or her chicks, plus I think she’s pretty proud of her little babies. When I lifted her up, I was suprised to see there were FOUR little chicks underneath her! They are so incredibly tiny and so CUTE! Think about how big an egg is, and that’s about how big these little guys are. I know they grow really quickly, so I was glad we got this photo. We didn’t want to take too many and bother them. Plus, it’s COLD outside and I didn’t want them to catch a little chill!

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This morning I went out to let the chickens out and when I went in to check on the little red hen, she was still setting in the same place, then I saw a little chick face peek out over her fluffy wing – two little eyes were curiously looking around, wondering what was going on in the big world. Then another little head poked out – it just made me laugh to see their bright little eyes. Welcome to the world little chicks! Now stay close to your mom so you don’t get cold!

chickbutt