I went out to check under the hen, afraid of a rotten egg left beneath her -since I had only seen 3 chicks peeking out- and there had been 4 developing.
So I gently lifted her and she walked a foot away, and there were 4 chicks- a tiny black one and two black spotted ones (like the first hatchling) and the yellow-headed spotty one. It is still only 1/2 the size of the first hatchling -you can compare just their head sizes in this picture to see that:
The little black one obviously hadn't seen the light of day and was pretty scared of me. It went running back under mamma and we didn't see it again!
Mamma hen immediately proceeded to teach her other 3 chicks (almost twice the size of the black one) how to peck for food, first in the straw and then in the food dish.
They got up really close to her and were obviously watching.
It was AMAZING because it was just so obvious - she clucked and pecked (not eating anything, even though I'm sure she hadn't eaten for two days) until the other chicks began to imitate her!
I got a couple of pictures, only one isn't fuzzy- and a short video clip. Wow, I really didn't think she'd take such an active mothering role, but my ignorance is constantly being enlightened.
All 4 chicks at 2 and 3 days:
I have NO IDEA what breeds they are, or which chick came from the brown egg (only that it wasn't the two that are next to each other facing forward, because there were 4 white eggs (one didn't develop) and only one brown one.
Here is a SHORT video clip of the First Lesson (how to eat):
And now that I have infused the blog with the first few days of successfully hatching some chicks (finally), I promise to move on to other things. I just had to share the experience - it's not a first for me, but it's the first time I paid attention and really cared about the outcome!
Having learned so much from others experience (on the net), I hope this is helpful to someone else or provides the confidence and inspiration for someone else to give it a try and NOT GIVE UP.
I'd be happy to share your successes too - send a link or share your story in the comments section! Or join in the expansive sharing going on at the Barn Hop! (or click the permanent link on the right-hand bar)!
Also, The 2nd Annual Hen House Linky party will be open a little while longer (May 2nd to enter) if you’ve got a chicken coop and a story to tell (or details about your flock!) At the end of the party there will be a SURPRISE giveaway for one lucky entrant!
If you don’t have your own hens yet, you can learn a lot and see what others are doing & be inspired with your own plans. So go check it out... at Deborah Jeans Dandelion House.