Little Surprises

While I’m on a roll posting about “little things,” I wanted to mention a few new little things that were complete surprises.

First off, a Khaki Campbell duck suddenly showed up one morning with a swarming brood of ten — count em — TEN little duckings. Where she’d built that nest, nobody knew. And roughly three or four days later, she still has all ten. She’s remarkably disciplined, and they follow her closely everywhere she goes.

An even bigger surprise was the hen that showed up in the barn a couple of days ago with six little chicks. This particular hen is the sister of the one I’ve mentioned before; both of them are cross-breeds who were hatched out by a mother hen last year. This one’s mothering instincts were so good, she simply disappeared and built a nest I was completely unaware of. Again, she simply showed up one morning with all these chicks. Because she herself is a hybrid, her chicks are all kinds of different colors. Oddly, this morning, she was back — but now had seven chicks. One of her eggs was probably near hatching when she came off the nest, and the blistering hot weather kept that last chick alive. She likely hatched that chick out last night, and it seems to have fallen right in line with the others.

So while it was sad to lose Dilemma last night, the wonderful thing about a farm is that there are constantly new beginnings…and surprises around every corner.

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