Bertha Our Broody Hen with Her New Baby Chicks

There has been so much going on that we have been giving many updates these days. Things are all good, but there has jut not been any time to “blog” about what we have been up to. Even this post is a little late, but better late than never. Since we started keeping chickens we had longed for the day that one of our hens would go broody and hatch out her own baby chicks. Several times we even left some eggs to encourage this to take place. It seemed our girls refused to brood just to spite us. So we’ve tried our hand at incubating a few times as well as continuing to buy baby chicks. But alas, Bertha, one of our Easter Egger hens, decided to brood.

Easter Egger Hen Brooding
Bertha Took Her Job Quite Seriously

At first we left her in the coop with everyone else while she sat on 4 eggs, because we were not positive that she was brooding. But the next day when she got up to eat or drink one of the other hens got in her nesting box and so she began to set on 2 new eggs in a different nesting box. So Jon put her back in her original nesting box and also added the 2 new eggs under her. She then had 6 eggs to brood on.

He built their nesting boxes so they could be moved out of the coop for just this situation. So he picked up the nesting box with her in it and we moved her into the building in a cage all by herself. Bertha did not like you getting near her nesting box. She is one of our smaller hens, but she was serious about guarding those eggs. It amazed us just how sprawled out she could be. We later moved her to a smaller coop (once we got the teenage barred chickens out).

Last week we were expecting the chicks to hatch and we kept a check on things. Tuesday we didn’t notice any change, but then Wednesday Jon heard what he thought was cheeping. It was almost dark, but we went out there with the flashlight, looked all over and sure enough her chicks had hatched! There were 5 hatched. They were soft dry fluff balls and didn’t appear to be just hatched. They seemed to have a little strength and were not flopping down to sleep like chicks do when they first hatch in the incubator. Thus we presume they probably hatched Tuesday and we didn’t realize it. She continued to sat on that 6th egg for another day and then she finally gave up on it. So we removed it from the coop.

It was too dark Wednesday for us to get any descent pictures, but I took these as soon as I could Thursday. I apologize for so many pictures. They are just so darn cute that I could not resist. Believe me I took many more than I am posting!

Bertha is a hot mess with wood chips over her head, but she’s not letting anyone touch her to fix that!
You can see how light Bertha’s comb still is
I just love these with the one chick climbing under the other chick!
I just love these with the one chick climbing under the other chick!
Mother-daughter moment?

Bertha is being such a good Mama. We are so proud of her. She guards those babies fiercely and doesn’t even like it when we try to reach in to give her fresh feed and water. We could just watch them for hours! Any time Jon goes missing for a bit and I cannot find him, I know where he is.

All of the eggs were not laid by Bertha, but all of them were fertilized by our Easter Egger roo, Bandit. So far all of his offspring (that we incubated) have laid green eggs and some are olive eggs. All of these babies that turn out to be gals will lay green eggs as well.

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