My Tiny Brood of Backyard Chooks

chooks, hens or chickens?

My Barnevelder girls are very interested in Hannah Hen’s chicks


The day the chicks were hatching under Hannah Hen, my Barnevelders (Hilda Hen and Helen Hen) were very interested. They hung around just outside the nesting box and paced up and down like expectant aunties. They definitely knew there was something going on in there.


The first day Hannah Hen bought her chicks outside, Hilda Hen and Helen Hen were very interested. They walked round and round the run, looking in and seeming to have a look of wonder on their faces.


Since that first day, they spend a lot of time each day just hanging outside the chick’s run, preening, pecking, chatting and doing lots of looking.

Only once have I seen Helen Hen (who has challenged the pecking order since Hannah Hen has been broody) issue a half hearted challenge towards Hannah through the run fence but Hannah just ignored her and went about her chick raising business.


This photo was taken tonight . The chicks are three weeks old and their mum had just called them all to bed. As they hurried in after mum, Hilda Hen was probably wondering why they were going to bed so early. It was still two hours until she was due to go to bed.


9 thoughts on “My Barnevelder girls are very interested in Hannah Hen’s chicks

  1. What beautiful hens you have – and such cute chicks! So glad to find your blog (thanks to you finding mine). You have some good advice here, and lovely stories.

  2. They’re a cracking bunch. You do seem to have a shocking lack of mud! Would you like us to send you some?

    • LOL We are just coming into summer here in New Zealand so no mud, just dry clay soil. I have just checked back into your blog and I see you live in Orkney. I didn’t quite make it to Orkney but so wish I had when where near(ish).

  3. Do you think they are jealous? A friend did this with a broody hen, put fertile eggs under her, but didn’t separate them. Another hen , who was also broody tried to steal some of the eggs and when the chicks were hatched, the two hens competed for the chicks. She said the poor chicks were confused but they survived. I think you are wise to keep them separate. She also said that when the chicks matured the older hens didn’t really accept them . She says it is like two flocks now….they don’t fight, they just are separate. So interesting. You may have more adventures ahead. I look forward to reading about them. Patti

    • Thank you Patti. I do wonder if they are jealous. I am also wondering if Helen is checking out her rivals as she has stepped into top pecking order now that Hannah has been with the chicks. Only time will tell. Yes, I think there will be lots of adventures ahead. I’m finding my way a bit with trial and error and the internet to help me so I hope the chicks survive.
      Thank you for sharing the story about your friend’s broodies and chicks.

  4. Those little ones are still so cute! They do go through kind of an ugly – chickling stage, though. Mine are still filling in with more feathers. They look a lot better now. It really is interesting to watch them grow and interact with each other.

    Please come see my Giveaway for this week…

    • My daughter was funny last weekend when she saw the chicks for the first time in more than a week.
      She looked into the run expecting to see the cute little babies in the first photo and saw the chicks in the third photo and she said “Mum, I feel a bit mean telling you this but they seem to be going through the gawky teenage stage. They are still cute but have reduced their level of cuteness”.

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