The Cottage Smallholder

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Update on Mrs Boss: lucky dip bantam eggs are hatching

Dixie Chick bantam and Mrs BossThe evening that we buried Great Aunt Daisy Beatyl I went down to the Emerald Castle to check if any of Mrs Boss’ clutch had hatched. One egg containing a tiny embryo had burst the day before. I was losing heart that we’d get any hatchlings. Bantams usually hatch after 21 days and this was day 22.

I lifted Mrs Boss off the nest. As she stepped into the caste grounds there was a small thin shriek from the nest of eggs. A teeny wet chick stood upright in a half eggshell and started to cheep. Not the gentle nestling cheeps but a cry so sharp that it should have had the rest of the clutch emerging from their eggs in an instant. Mrs Boss turned to look, froze for a second and then bustled back with luxuriant clucks.

I rushed back to the cottage to tell D.

“We just have to call it Beatyl after Great Aunt DB.”

bantam hatchlings.jpgSo let me introduce Beatyl Chick, the Silkie (left) and Dixie Chick, the Wyandotte that hatched the next morning (named by Pamela). Mrs Boss is still sitting on the remaining three eggs – so we might have more hatchlings.

I’ve spent quite some time watching them. They are at the stage when they want Mrs Boss to feed them. They were pecking at her beak so I rattled the feeder and Mrs Boss taught them how to feed with tremendous clucks and fuss. Beatyl cottoned on within seconds and Dixie Chick took her time, milking the audience. Her first swallow was the biggest gulp that I’ve ever seen by a day old chick. The entire body seemed to reverberate. Meanwhile Beatyl hopped inside the rim of the feeder on the thinnest bright yellow legs, tossing the feed into the air and having great fun.

There’s new life and at the bottom of the garden
“Let’s hope that they’re hens!” D said as he raised a glass to the diminutive newcomers.

I hope so too. If they are cockerels their future is casserole shaped. We can’t keep a cockerel in the garden. Apart from alerting our neighbours to the break of dawn they will answer any cockerel in the village. There are at least three living around the cottage and just one an addition would be three times three. Cockerels are territorial. They respond, add their cry to the mix and more.

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  1. unicorn

    congratulations there so cute,nature is beautiful,were expecting our chicks on the 25 so getting excited as its our first attempt xx

  2. More photos, please! We’re going to try hatching eggs next year, we only started with hens this year but have several examples of breeds known to get broody, and I am very interested in the dowsing technique as my great-aunt apparently used it to great success on her farm, according to my mum. 🙂

  3. Fiona Nevile

    Hi Magic Cochin

    They arrived at the perfect time and have enchanted us ever since. Just the two but we are delighted!

    Hello Moonroot

    I do hope that the ring trick worked and they are girls!

    Hello Elizabethm

    Chicks are fun. Ours are an absolute joy!

    Hi Wendy

    It’s just 2 but a real pucker pair!

    Hi Pamela

    Isn’t it great. And the one you named hatched out!

    We won’t know whether the pendulum was correct for quite a few weeks.

    Hello Casalba

    Fingers crossed that they are girls. Little Beatyl is so cute.

    Hi Pat

    Just the two chicks but we are so pleased that they are living in the Emerald Castle with Mrs Boss.

  4. Ohhhhhh Congratulations Fiona!!!!! They are really lovely chicks!!!! Good ole Mrs. Boss has done it again!!!! I like little Beatyl and hopefully her sisters too. Best of luck with the rest hatching too.

  5. casalba

    That’s great Fiona. I’m also hoping they’re girls. Especially Beatyl.

    Ans, yes, the pendulum! Please let us know.

  6. Welcome Beatyl Chick and Dixie Chick, fingers crossed now that they are girls. So did the pendulum predictions come true?

  7. Just the news I have been waiting for! Mrs. Boss scores again. Will be looking out for further updates and pictures. x

  8. elizabethm

    Chicks are such fun aren’t they? Ours from early June are now marching around looking quite grown up!

  9. moonroot

    Congratulations! I so hope they’re girls…

  10. magic cochin

    Mrs Boss and the Bantamettes will bring welcome chick-watching therapy for you and Danny.


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