Last October, we had finished the coop and brought in our chickens that someone had (thankfully) raised until we finished their home. Not until April I noticed the Black Australorp chicken who always stayed in the nest and sat on every egg she could find. So I fed her there and we became close buddies; just friendly enough to stand and stare at each other.
So somewhere at the end of May, my dad had wondered upon a nest in the field, a ground one. All the other eggs were crushed and the turkey mother was dead. Only 2 eggs sat alone untouched. And all of this just happened the day my dad got there. He couldn't leave the eggs so he carefully wrapped them in unused grease rag.
He gave them to me and let me do what I wanted with them, so my friend back in the coop came to mind. So I went to the coop and gently placed the eggs in the nest by the Black Australorp (still without a name). She took them and that was that.
But the next day, she was gone and the eggs were alone. She was eating with the other chickens, all of a sudden decided to go leave the nests for once! She went back but then leghorns had stuffed themselves in with her, so I made a contraption out of cardboard and duct tape to keep them our and her in. Still they get in. Right?
Next level. I removed her completely from the chicken room and placed her, with the turkey eggs, in a pet carrier in the neighboring room. I attached two tin cans on the barred door for food and water, and cleaned her occasionally as she sat and sat and sat. Sometimes even let her out to stretch! A few times I brought our friendliest Barred Rock, named The Aw-Ee Chicken (where I got my user name!), in to give her company.
She stopped laying eggs, probably because she's sitting on the turkey's.
Turkey eggs take 28 days/4 weeks to hatch, but even three, four days after the chicken sat on them, they still didn't hatch! So I was getting ready just to get rid of them. But when I came home from a graduation party, I notice one egg had a tiny crack at the top, and five hours later the other one had it two. There was even soft little chirps coming from the inside! My friend was clucking in response.
I thought it would only take 12 hours, but it took more than 24. Once again, I had to leave. When we got back, I ran to the coop in my Sunday clothes and found 2 fluffy turkey poults peeking out from under the Australorp! That is probably the only time I ever came close to fainting.
I set up a plywood wall to only give them a section of the 10-by-6 foot room. They were fed meat maker, even the chicken, and a gallon-sized water-er. Bedding, and all three were happy! It was about seventy-five, eighty degrees, so the didn't need any heating or anything.
About 6 days later, after cutting grass, one of the chicks was on its side, breathing hard. The other one was fine. After a lot of struggling, it died. I just couldn't put it out of her pain. After that, the other chick was weary of me, but the chicken just wanted her attention she always wanted.
When the turkey was 3 weeks old, I would let her and the Australorp outside. I added a roost to their room and started giving scraps like pickles, bread, and grass. I was told turkeys needed a lot of protein, maybe that was why the other one had passed, so I sat and killed flies for hours at a time. They loved them!
Mama, now name, started laying eggs again, but without the hard shell because she doesn't get her calcium.
Now the chick is 7 weeks old and after a healthy beginning, she has a leg problem. She walks only when she sees me and prefers to lay down. I took the roost down because she trips and stumbles more on it because of it. I don't know what happened.
Mama helps her along, shares the flies I kill and keeps her company. That chick loves her more than anything, and she cries just to have her mother by her side. Chickadee, the chicks name, and Mama are very inspiring to me.
I love them both very much, but we wouldn't have known Chickadee and her sister without Mama. She was the perfect mother and still is. No matter how weird she is, she is appreciated.
We love you, Mama.