Many parakeet chicks have been raised here at the Birdfarm, but we usually buy our chickens as chicks from local feed stores and hardware stores. But our white Leghorn loves to set, and all the other chickens come into her nest box and lay their eggs there, and she sits on them as if to show them what maternal instincts are supposed to look like.
So when a friend wanted to incubate some eggs as a science project for her boys, we left her nest box alone, rather than collect the eggs for breakfast as usual. The friend brought her tiny four-egg incubator over, and we selected four eggs. We left the rest (about a dozen) under the hen.
Our friend sent us a wonderful little video of her first chick hatching after a couple of weeks (the eggs had been under the hen for at least a week). And today, two days after that, I went out to feed our chickens, and heard a familiar peeping sound. We now have one little chick, who stays very close to mama as they scratch around for breakfast.
We’ll leave the rest of the eggs where they are, and see if this one gets any brothers and sisters. Mama may feel at this point like she is done. We’ll see.