We have an order of 50 female mixed breed chicks coming in tomorrow or Wednesday at the latest and we had to make a decision. Carolyn and her two little peeps were living in the large brooder for the last week, just to give them time to get a little weight on and stay nice, warm and protected. But we need the big brooder and we are using the smaller brooder too! For all these little chicks that our neighbor’s hatched out two days ago. (There are 14 of them! SOOOOO cute!) So, we made the decision that Carolyn was getting kicked out and her peeps would join the newly hatched homegrowns. They would be okay.
Well, We caught Carolyn and popped her into the yard. She came right back into the barn and was like, No. I’m here for my peeps. So we shooed her out and again, she found a way in. She went all the way around to the sheep barn and hopped the little gate to get back to the brooders. She was a determined gal. All the while, her two little peeps were going nuts. We decided to give them a little time and thought it would be okay. I went to mow the garden and Maggie was doing a little clean up in the poultry barn.
An hour later, Carolyn is STILL trying to get to her babies. She is frantic. The chicks are frantic. The free range hens are frantic. Cody is upset. Maggie and I are upset. So we make the decision, Carolyn wins, she gets to take her babies out into the yard and free range with them. What can be the worse situation? Something happens to her two little surprise chicks that she sat on for 21 days and made magic happen. Just her. She did it. Best case scenario, she will raise up a pair of sweet little babies to adult hens. So we caught the little dudes and took them outside the poultry barn to lure Carolyn outside. She attacked me as I was putting a baby down, not bad, but it was clear that she was in charge. She immediately cuddled up those babies under her wings and turned to face us as the evil things she knew we were.
Funny thing, she started to talk to them and call them to follow her out into the middle yard. And Fergus, one of our sheepies, took notice and came over to check this out. He’s never seen little chickens before and was very curious. Sheep are SUPER curious animals. And pretty fearless of new things, at least mine are. He strolled right up and was getting closer and closer and finally Carolyn turned around, puffed bigger than a beach ball and whack! Thumped him right in the face! Well Fergus was totally amazed and backed up in shock! A chicken had NEVER attacked him before, at least that I ever saw. She hustled those babies off to the garden in no time.
A little later on, we found her in the sheep barn with Thing 1 and Thing 2 as we call her chicks. Everyone was so interested in the babies loose in the barn yard! It was funny. She was strolling around like the Queen of Sheba! She was SOOOO proud of her little brood. And they were so responsive to her every command. And quick! They dash about and keep very close to Mama.
She brought them out that evening to stroll about the middle. I think it’s kinda funny that they look NOTHING like her. In fact, I would guess they are not related in anyway, other than she brooded them for 21 days. She deserves the chance to raise these little guys. And they adore her.
“Stay close children, these chickens behind that fence did something very very bad. They are locked up for a reason. Don’t make eye contact…. ”
So, we let them have their evening of freedom and went to work getting the brooders ready for the morning delivery of chicks… but I had to go and check because I was worried. I’m not sure why… Carolyn had scratched out a little nest in the corner of the sheep barn, tight in a corner, with her little tuckered out peeps snug underneath her feathers. She was super alert and ready to take on anyone that would mess with her babies. Cody and the sheep come and go from their barn, so I think that will help to keep her safe in there. Thank goodness she didn’t try and roost out in the yard. She’s one smart gal. I hope she can make this work!!! We’re rooting for ya, Carolyn!!!!