I guess when you REALLY want to be a mama...AMAZING! PICS

Discussion in 'Pictures & Stories of My Chickens' started by chicken_china_mom, May 23, 2010.

  1. chicken_china_mom

    chicken_china_mom Crazy for Cochins

    Apr 24, 2009
    Tab, Indiana
    Okay, so I have my hatches set up so that I have new chicks about every 3 weeks (basically as soon as one of the bators was empty, I filled it right back up, lol), so I have a batch of 8 week olds, a batch of 6 week olds, a batch of 3 week olds, and chicks hatching right now. Well, 6 weeks ago I hatched out some SS, some SS/Wellie mixes, some Sikie mixes, some pure Marans, and mixes, and 2 Lakenvelder chicks. Of all those chicks, the Lakenvelders are the calmest. They grew fast, were all heathy, and then 3 weeks ago my next batch hatched, so I set up a new brooder, and put the new babies in it. I have 2 Marans mixes, 4 bantam Cochins, and 2 d'Uccle chicks in that batch. Well, I noticed that in the big brooder my Lakenvelder pullet Eliza was going nuts. She was pacing and trying to cram herself between the bars, and she was staring intently at the new brooder. I really didn't think much of it, and after I got the new brooder set up and I was sure the new babies were ok, I left the room. Well, my older daughter came into the room a few hours later to change the water for the birds in the big brooder. They are in a rabbit cage so it has a lid that closes. As soon as my daughter opened that cage lid, Eliza flew out (after never having made an effort to get out before), jumped down to the floor, and ran across the room to the new brooder. My daughter was calling for me at this point, and I came to find out what all the commotion was about, and I arrived in the room just as Eliza had flown up to the edge of the new brooder (which is a 35 gallon plastic tote), and I tried to catch her before she jumped in, but I couldn't. She landed with a thud, and I stood and watched her for a moment to see what she would do. I was afraid she might peck at the babies or try to hurt them, but instead she took a quick bite of their food, and then immediately laid down. The babies looked at her for maybe a millisecond, and then rushed over to her. They crammed themselves around her and UNDER her, and she laid contentedly with her new "babies". She has not left that brooder since. I tried once to take her outside when I took out the other birds her age, and all she did was sit in a corner of the pen and refuse to eat or drink, so I felt bad for her and took her back into the house to her "babies". She was so happy to be back with them that she immediately started eating and drinking and snuggling them again. Ok, so fast forward 3 weeks. I took one of the Silkie mixes that was from the same hatch as Eliza and added in with her because he, or she, is nearly naked and not feathering in fast at all, and is barely bigger than Eliza's "babies", so I figured that chick won't be going outside for quite awhile yet. And it's worked out quite nicely. Well, yesterday was so nice that I took EVERYONE outside, even Eliza and her chicks. I put the 6 week olds in the pen and I let Eliza walk around outside the pen with her "babies". My 8 week old EE chicks are master escape artists and know how to walk through the fencing and came to steal the food and sunbathe near me, but Eliza didn't mind them. She took her "babies" around and was teaching them how to forage, and they were exploring together, and every time one wandered away she would let loose with this panicked cry, and the chick would come running back to her. I got a real kick out of watching them yesterday. So, I know you all are waiting to see Miss Eliza and her brood, so here they are outside in the nice weather yesterday:

    Here she had them under one of the lawn chairs:

    Showing them there were treats in the grass:

    Here she is with her biggest "baby", Monico, the Cuckoo Marans mixed chick. He follows her so closely that he's practically wedged up her butt, lol. Here they were observing the adult birds. A moment later she realized that the other chicks weren't with her and she started calling for them. They all came running, lol:

    Here she brought them over to investigate my younger DD's flip flop. After detremining that it wasn't edible, they moved on, lol:

    And here she is resting with them:

    Isn't that the cutest thing ever? I don't know if anyone else has ever experienced this with a very young pullet or not. Is this typical behavior for a Lakenvelder? I thought they weren't broodies? Eliza and Monty (the roo) are my first Lakenvelders. They are both really laid back and quiet, but Eliza just blows my mind. She absolutely LOVES these chicks! I'm wondering how she will react to the new ones that are in the bator still when I move them to their brooder. Will she leave her current chicks to try and mother the new ones? Will she ignore them? I find the whoe experience fascinating. She is so incredibly gentle with these babies. And it's so funny watching her with them cause Monico is nearly as big as her, lol. What do you all make of this? Besides the fact that it's really cute. Any input would be much appreciated.

  2. wvgal61

    wvgal61 Songster

    Feb 28, 2010
    Troutman, nc
    They are so cute! [​IMG]
  3. SmartyChick

    SmartyChick An Official Milkmaid

    Oct 19, 2009
    Sullivan County NY
    [​IMG] adorable, she looks like a great momma!
  4. stuckinthecity

    stuckinthecity Songster

    Apr 25, 2009
    This is amazing!
  5. americana-chick

    americana-chick Songster

    Jun 18, 2008
    Wow! i cant believe she went broody at such a young age!
  6. schellie69

    schellie69 Songster

    Oct 8, 2009
    so cool maybe she will be foster mom for you. she looks so cute next to the babies. maybe she will try and mother them all then you will be in trouble [​IMG]
  7. chicken_china_mom

    chicken_china_mom Crazy for Cochins

    Apr 24, 2009
    Tab, Indiana
    It wouldn't surprise me if she did. I'm moving the 6 week olds outside tomorrow, and from there I'm planning to clean out that brooder and set the new babies up in there. I have 9 that have hatched out so far. She knows how to escape the tote and actually spends most of her day lounging like a spoiled brat at the foot of my bed (yes, towels had to go down because of that!), so she can clearly see the other brooder, and she'll be able to hear the new chicks and see them once I place them in that brooder. I guess I'll know tomorrow whether she wants to abandon her current brood in favor of a younger one, or if she will stay with her 3 week olds. Her behavior amazes me, but I get a kick out of it at the same time. She's so little herself and to want to be a mommy already? Shoot, her "babies" are almost as big as she is!!! She keeps this up and she may end up living inside the house as a permanent mama!

  8. b.hromada

    b.hromada Flock Mistress

    Quote:Right! those pics are super cute! thanks for sharing. [​IMG]

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