And lo unto us a chick was born.
And here she, or he is… until further notice, known as Little Chick.
As always there is a story to tell. There always is when it comes to hens.
Little Chick and another chick were born, I estimate two hours before I arrived back from a trip to lovely London. As usual, I get out of the car and excitedly run round, checking all the animals, two horses, six hens and the cat with no tail.
Two hens are out of the run, and four are still in. I open the hatch and there is Mad Simone on the nest and a little cheep cheep comes from underneath her and lo… there is Little Chick.
But what’s all this to do at the other end of the run under the old garage door. Edith and Dolly playing tug of war with something that looks like a chick’s leg. Sadly it is.
Anything else I was going to do on arrival back in France is cancelled. The most important thing is to get Simone and Little Chick out of there. The horse trailer is the only safe place. I clean it out, lay down some fresh straw, find another cardboard box and fill it with straw then attempt to move Marion who is still broody and sitting on the last unhatched egg.
She goes bonkers in the trailer and I have to give up. I head back to the coop to scoop up Simone and Little Chick anticipating a nightmare. But both of them are as good as gold and with the exception of a bit of cheeping from Little Chick settle into life in the trailer immediately. And there they apparently must stay for at least 3 weeks.
Finding information on chick rearing has proved to be difficult since all the advice is about heat lamps and chick feeders and no mother hen. I decide that Simone has done a great job so far of keeping Little Chick out of harms way, there’s no reason why she shouldn’t continue.
Apart from requiring the odd dust bath outside, Simone is a devoted mother, tirelessly teaching Little Chick how to be a hen. Little Chick has learnt how to drink water, eat grass (or at least the handfuls I bring them) how to do the scratch, how to beak wipe, how to flap your wings; how to perch (this was very funny, Simone up high on the breast bar with Little Chick copying her below but perched on the edge of the cardboard box).
Now the best moment of my day is the evening, when I close up the top door of the trailer. I take a little peek inside and there is proud mum sitting in her nest with a tiny Little Chick next to her, little head poked out from under her feathers, ready for bed.