It was just another rainy summer morning here at the Traster abode. I poured myself a coffee, put on my mud boots and went out to pay the animals a visit. I went to the chicken coop and opened the door to say hello to whomever of my friends might be hanging out in there. I saw Luna and picked her up, and 2 baby chicks ran out from under her wing. 2 BABY CHICKS, I TELL YOU! I ran in the house screaming. The kids probably thought I was out of my mind.
She was broody, my friend Luna, and we knew that it was possible that she would hatch chicks. But we didn’t think it was likely.
So, what is a broody hen, you ask? Well, there is no exact science to exactly what makes a hen go broody. It can be a combination of her hormones, instinct and maturity. I’m learning as I go, and what I’ve learned about broody hens is this: When a hen’s prolactin level goes up, her body knows she’s ready to lay an egg. She lays the egg and her prolactin level returns to normal. For some reason, if a prolactin levels gets “stuck” on high, the hen will become what’s known as broody.
A broody hen can get straight up CRAZY. She will sit on top of her eggs (and others that she’s stolen) all day long in attempt to hatch them. If there’s no rooster on your farm, the eggs won’t be fertile. That little lady can sit on top of those eggs for the rest of her life, but they will never hatch. Poor thing. She has no idea. Anyway.
It seems we always have a broody hen or two around here. Every day, I go out to the coop, pick up the broody babe, set her down on the ground and scoot her along. I gather the eggs and take them inside, so there’s no chance of cracking open an egg at some point and seeing a developing embryo. Ew. I know. I don’t even want to talk about it.
This time we decided to do an experiment. We thought we would let Luna sit on her eggs for a few weeks and see what happens. Every day I checked. And then today?? 2 BABY CHICKS RAN OUT. Pinch me. They’re so stinking cute.
Can you even?! We’ve had day old chicks that we’ve gotten from the hatchery many times. But having for real chicks that hatched naturally at your house? I’M GIDDY.
Just look at Luna and her 2 little chicks.
I’m so in love with this farm life. It’s a lot of work and it’s messy at times (actually, a lot of the time). But to experience this? It makes it all worth it.
Until next time, friends! I’m off to swoon over the new babies.