Had to post this picture to show to the Ohio family folks. Mama hen has taken on two baby chicks. They look NOTHING like her, so thank goodness chickens don't understand genetics (or reproduction, for that matter, I say to the hen who sat for days on unfertilized eggs).
Fluffbottom is now the proud mama to two cuckoo maran chickies, who will eventually look like this.
At dusk on Saturday, I brought the box with chicks up to the coop and placed it nearby the hen. She would hear the chirping and think her eggs were about ready to hatch. An hour later (when it was dark), I took the two chicks out and stuck them under mama bird, who immediately fluffed up and gently covered them in feathers.
We're on day four now and Fluffbottom still has her two chicks.
She's up in the old coop right now though, so we'll see how things go when I try to transplant her in a few days to the new coop. I suspect this will have to be done at night also, probably with me wearing a headlamp. She's quite protective of her chicks, so it's a good thing chickens become rather dumb at night!
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