Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Adoptive Mother

Z asked what would happen to this bitty if no hen would claim it. What happens is that it will find another mother. Truly, this is a remarkable chick. We had a bunch of hens hatch bitties around the same day and hens are super aggressive when they have new chicks. There was much bickering, claiming, and reclaiming among the hens and the result was that this little chick got separated and none of the hens would claim him later. When she was not claimed at sundown we placed her under a hen with bitties. Rejected. The next night we put her under a different hen. Rejected, again. After a few days of this we decided the chick would be traumatized by all the pecking and rejecting, so decided to keep it separate.

The chick escaped the bitty box at every opportunity and rejected all of our pampering. She began to roam with the kittens who were almost the same size. We have seven kittens - three from a feral cat who dropped her babies and subsequently vanished (Do you think stealing her babies had anything to do with it?) and four from our cat who was obviously an early bloomer or older than we thought. When we took her to the vet to be spayed and she was already hugely pregnant. Anyway, the chick thinks she is a kitten. When the kittens nurse, she sits on the mamma's haunch. When the kittens go into the shed for the night the chick follows.

We have been constantly amazed at this chick's quirky survival methods. Whatever works. I wonder if she will one day realize she isn't a cat?

5 comments:

Angela, MotherCrone said...

That is amazing! I can hardly wait to hear the end of this story. I can imagine her trying to follow the stealth kittens on their first mouse hunts...only to come clucking along to chase dinner away!

Robyn said...

I'm afraid I'm going to pass out from the cute!!!

Melora said...

That is a Darling picture! My kids now want a baby chick for our cat (who, I'm quite certain, would Eat it). I thought the same as Angela-- that the real fun will come when you have a mouse-hunting chicken!

Wisteria said...

The children did see one of your full grown chickens catch a mouse at the wood pile. I'm not sure if she ate it, but she caught it. Perhaps the idea is not so far-fetched.

Melora said...

Now That information might persuade dh to let us keep chickens! (not really -- he thinks our menagerie is completely out of control with one cat and one dog) Even if she couldn't actually Eat them, she could do the catching & then hand them over to her adopted kitty siblings.