Tuesday, September 27, 2011
I recently watched our hen Ginger act as a surrogate and hatch eggs for our friends. They wanted a few new chickens for their small flock, but didn't have any broody hens, and with fall coming on fast, they wanted to avoid the use of a heat lamp after the chicks hatched. So we lent them Ginger. She did an excellent job, hatching 6 of 8 eggs (she threw one egg out halfway through, and another one began to hatch a few days too early and died before fully hatching).
Old Penny is very maternal, and was very interested in the cheeping babies in the next stall. If she could have, she probably would have brooded them.
Ginger is very protective of the babies, and moving her and the chicks to their new home was a bit stressful, but they are settling in nicely.