Acquired: Farmyard / Feedstore adoption
Grass Valley, California, United States
Posted Sep 09, 2013
When I moved to the country, I acquired a small flock of chickens. Over time, some of the chickens died and some were killed by predators so I got some new chicks to raise. Among the new chicks were two black astralorps who I names Bessie and Esther. They grew into beautiful hens - big with shiny black feathers. They became good layers, too. But one day Esther disappeared. I looked everywhere but couldn't find her. Finally, I figured she must have been nabbed by a predator. Then one day I heard clucking from under the chicken house. I got down on my hands and knees and there, under the house, was Esther. She had become broody. She was sitting on a clutch of eggs that were never going to hatch. No matter what I did, she wouldn't come out from under the house. I prodded and poked at her but she wouldn't budge. I'd heard about this problem but had never experienced it before. After a couple of days, I went to the feed store and, at the advice of the store clerk, bought a brand new baby chick. That night, when Esther was sound asleep, I took the baby chick and slid it carefully under Esther. When she woke up in the morning, she found her new baby and was happy as a clam. She soon came out from under the chicken house, busily watching over her baby. I had Esther for about a year or so, but like so many chickens, she met a sad end at the paws of a skunk or racoon. Anyone who decides to get chickens needs to be aware that, even under the best conditions, chickens are easy prey for lots of other hungry wildlife.