Three weeks ago one of my Dorking hens went broody on a clutch of eggs. Last year this didn’t end well, and none of the eggs hatched. But I’ve learned a bit more about the hatching process since then and I thought I’d give it another go, and let things happen as they would. So, I collected the eggs for the next couple of days from all the hens and quietly placed them under the broody hen who I separated from the flock in a clean pen.
Today, four little chicks appeared (out of the original 7 eggs). Two are yellow, one is grey and one is white. I’m really looking forward to watching them grow and seeing what each grows up to be. They have a diverse lineage as all of them will have our chanticleer roaster as their father, but there are three possible breeds as mothers.
So far the hen is doing her thing well. When I put a bowl of food in the pen she immediately used her feet to spread it out around the space. When this happened I first thought she was just making a mess! But then she encouraged her chicks to scratch around for their food and I understood that she was just being a good mother.