How many hens does it take to hatch an egg? The answer is “at least three.” Mind you, there are no dogs allowed the chicken coop–but I overheard the story and saw the video, so I can tell you all about it… and I promise not to get philosophical. 🙂
Over the past few weeks, one of my grandma’s black banty hens was acting broody enough that my master gave her a bunch of eggs to try to hatch. For almost three weeks, she sat on those eggs and tended them quite well. Then, one morning, she up and left. So, a different hen, a standard-sized black hen, came in and decided she’d take up the gauntlet and sat on the eggs from then on. A few days later, my grandma discovered that one of the eggs had a hole in it, and– you guessed it– a little chick was in there peeping away, trying to get out. So, that’s two hens in the mix so far.
When my master went up a few hours later to check on the chick, it wasn’t in the box with the standard black hen. It was in the box below, with one of the white silky hens! Nobody could figure this out (not even us dogs). How did the helpless little chick move from one box to the other? And, why does it take three hens to raise one brood of eggs?
The answer is in the somewhat disturbing video below. The video starts with showing the white silky hen and the chick I just described. Then, my master videotaped the standard black hen, who is still sitting on the rest of the eggs. You get to see a tiny chick hatch from it’s egg. But then, at about 2:40 on the video, you will see something most disturbing! The standard black hen grabs the newborn chick and smashes it against the side of the box!
Since my master was there videotaping this for youtube, he was able to save the chick’s life. Thank God for youtube! It wasn’t long before that standard black hen was banished to the yard. The black banty hen was happy to have her eggs back, and we are all anxiously awaiting the next peep to hatch.