I knew this day would come. I've read it can happen as early as 2 weeks and as late as 6 months, with 2 months being the most common point where mama is done being a mama. The babies are able to fend for themselves. They are fully feathered and able to stay warm at night. And they know where to find food and water and who to stay away from.
I knew this was coming about 10 days ago when I offered Honey Bear meal worms and she gobbled them up all for herself. She would normally call her babies over and share. But nope. She was no longer sharing. She had lost quite a bit of weight and was even loosing feathers. Probably more of a stress induced molt than a regular molt as she's not even a full year old yet.
And this past week she was squatting for me, a sure sign that she's ready to come back into lay. And today there was a perfect, tiny egg in one of the nests. I know she was a bit confused about where to lay. I put two plastic Easter Eggs in all of the nests. Even the outdoor nest that Spice uses. I know this can encourage them to lay there as they see the eggs as a sign that it's a safe place to lay.
I just went out to check up on everyone after dark and Honey put herself to bed in the big hen house with the big girls. The babies are all snuggled up together in their house. So for a very brief moment in time, we have peace and harmony and I'm loving it. Now I just have to wait patiently for my babies to lay me beautiful white eggs.
|Took this one last night of my three amigos hanging out together in the run. Sugar on the left. Pumpkin in the middle is bigger than her sister and has completely black eyes. Poppy on the right is a smaller than Pumpkin and had golden brown eyes.|
|Close up of Pumpkin from last week when they were still sleeping w/ Mama Honey Bear.|
|Honey Bear was positively the best mama ever. It was my first time letting a hen raise babies and I can't find one thing I'd criticize her for. I think she's raised some really well adjusted and happy babies.|
|And just another shot of mama with her babies. Just so very cute.|