...sometimes even a single feather is enough to fly. (Robert Maclean)


hens co-parenting ducklings

(Imagine the Brady Bunch theme song, if you will...)
Here's the story of a lovely lady
who was bringing up one lovely little duckling on her own.
The duckling was gold, not at all like it's mother,
it gets a little funky when you pair a chicken with a duck.
Here's the story of a hen named Commie
who was busy bringing up two ducklings of her own...
There were three of them living in the coop all together
yet they were all alone.
Till one day when out in the yard,
Jersey met Commie
and they knew that it was much more than a hunch,
That this group must somehow form a family.
That's the way they became the Chicken-Duckling Bunch!
So, here's the update: 
Both mammas started to venture out of their respective nesting spots yesterday...
This picture below here is of their first encounter of each other and the other ducklings.
You can see they were on guard -- Jersey is all puffed up and making her broody warning sounds, which roughly seem to translate as "stay away from my baby... or else!"
We were very worried because we had read stories about rival chicken mothers,
attacking each other and even going after the other mamma's babies...
We held our breath...
There were a couple of squawks and domination pecks exchanged
but then things gradually got more and more calm.
We still had our reservations about it, so we checked in on them all day long
to make sure everything was going alright.
As the day went on, we noticed them and their ducklings begin to hang out together.
As night came, to our great surprise, Commie gave up her nesting spot in the coop
to nest next to Jersey in her ramshackle outdoor bin...
Look at them, sleeping peacefully next to eachother with their babies warm underneath!
This morning, we noticed that the babies are SHARING the mothers,
and the mothers are sharing the babies and taking responsibility for protecting all of them.
(If only some of my students could learn about sharing and getting along
in such a short period of time!)
Needless to say, we are tickled beyond belief -- to our total astonishment and delight,
they have become a little blended family!
We've got two chickens co-parenting ducklings.
It's wacky, but it works!
I like to think that maybe they picked up on the vibe of our whole home here,
which is all about two ladies having a lot of fun together in life.
Or maybe they realized that parenting alone is no easy task...
Here, Commie is taking a little break while Jersey takes over the duckling-warming-duties.
 And then they had some romps in the mud all together.
It was like a trip to an amusement park.
The ducklings go absolutely gaga for water and mud...!
They dip their whole beaks in and fish around like they're going to find a treasure.
We have to be careful not to let them in deep water just yet.
They could drown easily and they don't have the natural oils
that their duck mothers would have spread over them to help waterproof them... 
It's so much FUN playing in the mud with your family!
Stay tuned for more updates on the Chicken-Duckling Bunch...

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