We had another brooder this year. Instead of letting it go by, Nicole got fertilized eggs from a neighbor and 3 chicks were born without any need for incubators. This is the second time we get a brooder (who could very be the same as last year), and the first time we get chicks this way. It’s quite cool to see her introduce the chicks to the flock, she was extremely defensive the whole time, barely getting out to eat. Now that the chicks are out and about, she cuts us some slack and lets us get close while most definitely keeping an eye on us. She lost them in a thunderstorm when they couldn’t get back in the coop, I’d like to think I scored some chicken esteem points getting them back in.
Also interesting, while the rest of the flock is usually a source of danger for young chicks. In this case, they seem to not push at all and leave mom completely in peace. Even going as far as defensively joining a ruckus we caused around the little chicks.
Kind of gets you thinking about the reputation for being dumb we give chickens so that they’re easier to justify mistreating and eating.