A Son with a Different Name.

It was an odd sight, in the hen yard this year, to see a black and white feathered hen with her fluffy brown chick.Silver Laced Wyandotte hen with Rhode Island Red chick

At one time we kept a flock of Silver Laced Wyandottes, with beautiful black and white plumage. As they grew older we replaced them with Rhode Island Reds which are often said to be the most prolific egg layer amongst heritage breeds.

Silver Laced Wyandotte rooster and hens

A small group of our original flock of Silver Laced Wyandotte hens and rooster.


We still have one old lady left from that original flock and she quickly joined the new birds, firmly believing she was one of the gang. Over the last couple of years, she has desperately wanted to become a mother, sitting diligently for three weeks each spring.

Siver Laced Wyandotte chicken on nest

She patiently sat and waited… and waited.


While her younger sisters were proudly showing off their offspring she continued to sit…and sit.

Rhode Island Red hen with chicks

Back in the spring, we had a hen hatch her brood but then leave two eggs behind in the nest. Not knowing if it would work, we placed the two eggs under our frustrated hen. Having already been nurtured for 21 days, there was a chance that the eggs would hatch, and she would finally have a chick of her own. Sure enough the following morning we could hear a chirping from the nest and a contented clucking from the mother.

Silver Laced Wyandotte hen with Rhode Island Red chick

Over the next few weeks and months, she proudly paraded her chick around the yard, completely unaware that he was growing feathers of a different colour. That chick turned out to be a rooster and soon outgrew his mum. Nevertheless, he still tries to dive for warmth under her wing at night, almost knocking her off her roost. Such is the strength of a mother’s love.

Rhode Island Red rooster

All grown up but still a ‘mummy’s boy’.


About Jane Fowler

We are working towards a sustainable lifestyle, homeschooling our children, growing all our own food and creating art. Join us in our journey, learning with us along the way.
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2 Responses to A Son with a Different Name.

  1. I love this! We have had broody hens in the past but never any who have actually hatched any chicks, our setup was not very accommodating for that. I love that he still wants his mum to give him shelter.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Jane says:

      Our hens go broody too often. It’s not unusual for us to have two or three sitting on eggs at any one time, putting them out of egg laying production for several months. Sometimes they disappear for a few weeks and come back with chicks, while we move others out of the egg laying boxes into broody boxes away from the other hens. Are your hens a heritage breed or a hybrid layer?


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