We’re expecting – Another poultry adventure

Published 7:08 pm Tuesday, November 21, 2023

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With a backyard flock of poultry personalities, I am beginning to realize the adventure never ends. As usually happens, it seems planned parenthood is out the window and Chanticleer’s favorite hen wife is expecting four little checks some time in mid-December. 

“How did this happen without planning?” you may ask. It happened on a quick trip to Gulfport, Mississippi. 

Gulfport is a great town to visit, full or shops and amenities not available in the tri county area. Such things probably happen quite often with newlyweds but in this case, the flock stayed home while I traveled to visit my daughter. 

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With the coop freshly cleaned plenty of gourmet laying pellets and no one to gather the eggs, Pertoleta aka Perty, took it upon herself to gather and sit on half-a-dozen eggs that weekend – one porcelain decoy egg, three of her own and two abandoned by the other hens. 

When I returned home, I found Perty brooding on her little clutch, oblivious to the decoy she kept safe and warm. 

I had not planned to expand the flock but couldn’t bring myself to take them from her. Chanti seemed so proud of himself. What is a chicken mom to do?

I did the only natural thing to do – I called an expert. She advised me that if Perty managed to hatch the eggs, she would raise them. No need to worry about cold December nights, Perty would keep her babies warm. 

And, she added, the “roo[ster]” might volunteer to give her a break and keep them warm a while. 

There is a lot to be learned from chickens. Given half the chance, they will nurture the young, not just their own but others as well. Perty even goes to great lengths to gather and protect new eggs each morning. She’s quite the little mother and it is charming to watch. 

Chanti is very protective of his babies and their mother. He is none too happy when I lift Perty to check for progress. He is a great example of what families and communities should do to protect young lives, because while one shouldn’t count their chickens before they hatch, he values them already. 

Even the unborn seem to matter to chickens. It’s a concept humanity would do well to grasp. 

Hopefully we will welcome the arrival of four little fuzz balls in about two weeks. Be sure to let me know if you would like to adopt one.