Saturday, May 2, 2015

Are You Our Mother?

by Pa Rock
Poultry Provocateur 

My baby chicks are now almost two weeks old, and they are beginning to develop their own fuzzy and feathery personalities and differentiate themselves from the flock.  I began with seven banty chicks (now down to five), ten Rhode Island Red chicks, and five turkey chicks.  They were initially segregated into bantys and "others," and I placed my little banty hen in the nursery to look over all of the newbies and hopefully to mother the banty chicks.

The little hen seemed happy in her forced isolation with the chicks, but she proved to be more of a supervisor than a mother.  The old girl watched over all of the chicks, but was not a warm and nurturing mom.  Sadly, she did not seem to bond with the little bantys at all.

Now that all are free of their initial  homes - two plastic kiddie pools - they run together in a pack.  Strangely,  the five turkey chicks have decided that they belong to the banty hen.  They gather around her and follow their "mother" everywhere, and the hen seems quite content in her matriarchal role with the turkeys.  She did not adopt them, but they have definitely adopted her.

It will be fun to watch this family grow.  As the turkeys begin to put on size, they will tower over their mother - but I suspect she will always be the boss.  Nature can seem strange, but in the end things have a way of working out.

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