It’s been a crazy winter-into-spring transition, with afternoons in February warm enough to cause leaves to pop, and yet enough freezing-at-night temperatures to keep us waiting to transplant our seedlings into the garden until yesterday.
The kids have already gone through several boxes of bandaids and a tube of Neosporin with all the bicycling they’ve been doing since the weather started warming up.
And they’ve spent enough time outdoors already to make homemade bows and arrows, cut out a new bike path through the woods and discover the sweetest little nest of baby Cardinals.
Which *hopefully* is a harbinger of an old school, fun-filled (if injury laden) summer.
Even the chickens are feeling it.
Juniper, Clementine’s hen, decided to go broody several weeks ago. (In regular-person speak, *broody* means she wants to be a mama.)
So, instead of laying an egg and going about her usual laying-hen-business outside of the nesting box, it means she stopped laying eggs and started setting on them 24/7.
Even with the other girls whooping it up outside, footloose and fancy free, she kept on that little unfertilized clutch of eggs.
Eventually our hearts were so pained for her that we decided to try to help her be a mama.
Enter the idea of giving her a clutch of fertilized eggs.
And, I figured, if we were going to put some eggs under her, they may as well be eggs that would hatch into chickens that I was already day-dreaming of adding to our tiny flock.
Specifically French Black Copper Marans and French Blue Copper Marans. (Both lay a dreamy chocolate-colored brown egg.) We also thought it would be fun to add another blue-egg layer, because why not, so we ordered six hatching eggs: two Black Copper Marans, two Blue Copper Marans and two Crested Cream Legbars.
But instead of six she sent nine – three of each – and when they arrived on our front porch on a Monday morning at 10 AM, we all celebrated.
And then ran out to the coop as fast as we could to put them underneath Juniper.
Today was the 20th day since those little nuggets have been nestled underneath her and we can’t hardly stand it.
Because tomorrow should be hatch day.
We have hope that at least a few will actually produce live chicks and would be thrilled if even one ended up being a new laying hen in our flock.
Since the hatch rate for shipped eggs is 50%…
and approximately 50% of chicks are roosters…
and our Juniper is a first time mama…
and we are first time hatching egg purchasers…
we figure even one making it will be a victory.
And will result in one very well-loved hen.
Oh spring, we are so glad you are here.
We can’t wait to see what other wonders you have in store.