Spring and early summer are my favorite seasons of the year. The weather is comfortably warm inducing back yard barbecues, neighborhood get-togethers, and time spent watching sunsets every night. My yard is alive with new blooms and with thoughts of “I don’t remember planting that?” or “I’m sure that wasn’t blooming yesterday?” Each day is a new discovery.
I don't remember planting this iris?
I think this is Salvia? If you look close, you can see the Hoverfly!
In addition to the long lingering walks through the yard, one of my “ladies” has thoughts of spring and new life too. She has decided she wants to “set” a clutch of eggs. Now without a rooster to fertilize these eggs, this effort would be futile. But my rooster is a busy guy. As roosters go, he is a mild manner fellow intent on keeping track of “his” ladies. And he is noisy crowing at all hours of the day and night! He watches me closely when I collect eggs or refill their feeders he always stays just out of reach in case I might try to touch him. I can live with not being able to touch him and in return, he has never tried to “touch” me either.
I caused quite the uproar the other night when I finally moved this lady to a separate coop connected to the larger coop. This hen was most upset that I “took” her eggs but quickly found them in the new nest box. My rooster was upset because the lady was upset. Still, it had to be done. The incubation period for chicken eggs is 21 days. Those eggs are due to hatch today or tomorrow?
Now the funny thing is… whenever my broody girl takes a break to eliminate, eat and drink, the other hens are more then willing to deposit their eggs to the clutch! Of the eggs I marked to be hatched, I found about ten more in the nest box for my lady to hatch! Not knowing when these eggs were laid in her nest, I have no idea when they would be due to hatch and truly, eighteen babies is more then any hen should have to incubate and keep warm!
All of my chickens, except my rooster, eat out of my hand. They are “tame” to allow me to not only interact with them but to also monitor each one’s health. Much to my rooster’s chagrin, they come running when I call knowing a special treat will be forthcoming. At times, my chickens come to me better then my dogs!
So the chicks are due to hatch soon. And being tame, my hen won’t mind my being a witness to yet another sign of spring and new life. I can hardly wait to meet these new chicks and yes, I plan on hand-feeding/taming them also as they grow and eventually become members of my much larger flock. New life is definitely a sign of spring!