Obligatory Cute Chick Post

Look, it’s just that time of year. We have to live with it.

We have no chicks this year. Our ladies are not maternal, they have no male companionship, and we’ve made no chick missions to the feedstore. These pics are from our neighbors’ house. Anne and Bill have a menagerie of ridiculously cute small animals. You recall the pea eating Chihuahua?

Among their collection are a pair broody little Silkies, who are old-timers on their micro farm, and a new bantam hen–the tiniest chicken I’ve ever seen, hands down–who ended up in their yard somehow or another a couple of months ago. She’s not in these pictures because she’s not a very involved mother (not that I’m judging). After her arrival, this new hen received several brief but scandalous visits (not that I’m judging) from a very small rooster who breached the fence, coming and going like the gigolo he is as he pleased, leaving the World’s Tiniest Hen with a pile of tiny, potentially fertilized eggs.

She just sort of left the eggs under some leaves and went about her business, so Neighbor Anne decided to give the eggs to her Silkies, because she knows those gals are rabid incubators. They’ve incubated kittens. Seriously.

The shock-headed Silkies, who remind me of spinster sisters in Victorian novels, took to their new charges with gusto, bickered over the eggs, scratching them to and fro in the nest, both eager to incubate them to term.

In the end, 3 eggs hatched and I went over there the next day to check out the scene. If you want to see pics from the first night, check out Neighbor Bill’s blog.

See, what we’ve got here is an extreme cuteness overload. What’s missing in these pics is scale. Those hens are not full sized hens, and the chick is smaller than regular chicks. Also, Silkies don’t have feathers so much as they have downy fluff. Imagine, if you will, the world’s tiniest chicks surfing in a sea of marabou feathers, coming up to surface, and then diving deep again.

 

You can fit all three chicks in one hand. I think two will look like their mom, and one like the Mysterious Stranger.

I became a little obsessed with the idea that the stripey ones look like chipmunks. Then I found a cat toy on the floor which was a chipmunk. Imagine my delight: CHICKMUNK!


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13 Comments

  1. We have an Americauna hen who had chipmunk stripes as a chick, and she too is called Chickmunk! She was attacked by a Red Tail Hawk last summer and if she’d been an anonymous Leghorn or RIR I’d have euthanized her, but the children would have noticed if Chickmunk had gone missing. She recovered just fine and is laying pinkish eggs again :)

  2. Cute overload, indeed! I remember seeing film about kitten-setting silkies somewhere…maybe it was Cute Overload? Anyway, congratulations to Bill and Anne!

  3. @Anon: I haven’t had any personal experience raising chicks, so others are welcome to chime in. All I know is that broody hens are obsessive. They must brood. Both these hens wanted to brood so badly that they were willing to share. Anne said they were competitive about the eggs–rolling them back and forth–but I think they’re fine with the chicks sort of surfing around between them as they please.

    Maybe I can get future cute-tastic info from Anne about how the hens behave out in the yard with their charges.

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