So I finished milking and was about to go inside when I know I heard peeping. I put my milk container on the fence post (bad idea, but luckily the milk stayed put) and followed the sounds of soft peeping. Then I heard the tell-tale sound of a mother hen; that muffled, soft cluuk, cluuuk, clucking.
And lo & behold, there WERE chicks!
I knew that there was one particular hen that would go off in the giant wood pile to lay her eggs. I would catch her coming out near the pile, doing that "Look at me, I just laid an egg!" cackle. But I could never find her pile of eggs. I just wrote it off as lost protein and one fewer egg sandwiches for us each day. Then I just forgot about her. Don't peg me as a bad chicken mommy, I've got like thirty-something chickens, most of which look exactly the same.
We tried corralling the hen and her six chicks so I could put them in the safety of the barn, but mother chicken was going to have nothing to do with that. At one point I was able to catch one of the chicks. I put it in the barn, hoping that it's incessant peeping would lure the mother closer to my net, but she was having nothing to do with that. So I ended up taking the chick in the house overnight so it didn't get chilled (and listened to peep, peep, peep, PEEP-PEEP all night, thank you). The next morning we tried to catch the hen and chicks again, and again with no luck.
Not wanting the mother hen to forget her other stolen offspring, I took it back outside, found where they were and put it down as close to them as possible. The chick went running over to mom & mom welcomed it back.
|Closest I can get to them before they high-tail it outt'a there.|
That's my plan, anyhow.