THE SAGA OF THE BLUE BABIES
First time hen dutifully sets on a nest for 21 days, then when the chicks start to hatch freaks out, tramples them and abandons the nest.
The chick that had already hatched was killed, I took the crushed eggs and put them in an incubator. Amazingly 4 of 5 of the little buggers hatched. (There’s a chance the 5th will hatch as well).
I offered a chick the the new hen midday and she looked puzzled but didn’t seem to get it. I returned them to the incubator.
Last night I tried again, offered her one chick and she lifted up and let it run under her. I checked several times and as things were going well I gave her another. Now all 4 are back with their Mama.
If they survive until I get home, I will move them into a pen with a heater, so that if anything untoward happens, they will be okay. I’m guessing that having something run around underneath you could be a little creepy if you aren’t sure what’s going on…the hen seems calm now and is letting them climb all over her.
I’m just glad that she’s accepted the babies. There are two blue-black and two blue Ameracaunas. Pretty birds. I adopted 6 chicks in February — my luck, 5 turned out to be roosters. I call them the thugs. I’d love to have a few hens that look like them.
UPDATED: The 5th chick hatched, another blue. Mom and three blues shown in the new photo I added. The newest is the biggest, fattest chick. The little family is doing well :)