Betty the Banty


We have this crazy chicken.  She is one of the three we got from our favorite local nursery and was, of the three, the hardest to catch.  She was originally named Starly, but Mark started calling her Black Betty and it kind of stuck.  From the start she insisted on sleeping in a tree, rather than with the rest of the flock and once went missing for a week.  She turned up at the end of the week, screaming at me while racing around the coop eating everything in sight.  Turns out she had gone broody and was off sitting on a clutch of eggs that never would hatch.  Eventually we waited for her to return and sealed up the coop so she couldn't go out again.  We were too worried she'd be discovered on her nest by the local coyote pack and that would be the end of Betty the Banty.

Not long ago we accepted a pair of rescue chickens who both turned out to be roosters.  We hadn't planned on having roosters, but honestly, they are ridiculously funny and have provided us with so many examples of awkward chicken p0rn, we just couldn't get rid of them.  And this time, when Betty went broody, we figured we'd give the girl a chance to be a mama.  She stole every egg she could get and wit the addition of some straw Mark provided made herself a nest in one of the laying boxes.  For a while it was only six eggs but at the latest count it was a total of ten.

A couple days ago, our motherly little hen finally got everything she ever wanted.  One of the eggs hatched.

Back with Mama

Today, another chick was found, stumbling around looking confused.

new chick!

I decided that since Betty was still trying to add to her clutch of eggs, she and the babies needed to get moved.  Their access to food and water is rather limited in the laying box, so I moved the whole lot of them to the side car coop.  I moved Betty first and the poor thing went frantic when she wasn't with the babies.  I ran around and snatched the peeping little fluffs and ran them back to where she was, instantly calming her down.  After that I moved her nest with all the eggs.  The guy at the feed store told me they wouldn't all hatch, but I have no idea at what point to throw in the towel.  The babies that did hatch took about three weeks and I think the last two eggs were added to the nest in the last couple of days so in another three weeks we should be done with all this business.

in their new home
Anyone want to wager a guess on how many babies we'll end up with?