We had a Speckled Sussex hen start to sit on a clutch of eggs a few weeks ago.
Then one of our Black Australorps seemed to think the Sussex needed help and joined her. So we had two hens keeping the eggs warm.
But then after a few days the Speckled Sussex got miffed and left.
Our one Muscovy duck who has been broody in the past took over the vacated spot and started sitting with Black Australorp.
A week or so ago, four eggs hatched but one little chick seemed very weak and didn't make it.
Each of the three birds who had a part in incubating the eggs decided she was the mother of this little brood.
The setting and hatching took place in the solarium attached to the chicken house, and that's where they were all living in harmony.
However, apparently the two chicken mamas and one duck mama had some kind of a falling out regarding the way the three little ones (all of the chicken variety, by the way) were being raised because all three started fighting to the extent we were afraid the chicks were going to be harmed in the scuffle.
So yesterday while I was doing more cleaning in the garden, Papa Pea moved the chicks into another pen of their own (with a top opening flap for putting in water and feed) and decided to put only one "mama" in with them.
After he finished the task, I asked him which bird he chose to be the single mother.
He said, "The Black Australorp because she was the one smart enough to fly up and into the pen through the top flap before I had time to make the choice."
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