Broody Mama

More Earth Farm

8/29/20231 min read

The clucking sounded rhythmically. Drum, Drum, Drum. The sounds of a locomotive stomping down the track off in the distance. She was ready and had been ready for weeks. The ceramic eggs she sat upon with infinite patience refused to hatch. Then, one night, in the darkness it happened. Three warm, fluffy, little bodies found refuge on the bare patch of skin where she had plucked her feathers free in anticipation. They peeped to her as if to say, “Mama.” She called her brood under her wings and tucked them in, finally content. In the dawn the three chicks were ready to be moved with the broody mama from the nesting box to the special coop. One chick was already so strongly imprinted that he stood up under her wing and refused to be separated from, “Mama.” They had to be moved together. In the special maternity coop the other two chicks were reunited seconds later, led by Mama’s rhythmic clucking. Motherhood came so naturally that the humans allowed three other hatchmates from the incubator to join the original three. She opened her wings a little wider to welcome them in. In the dark of the following night three more chicks, finally dry from the incubator, came out to join the first six. Finally Mama Fluff settled her broad white feathers contently over her brood of 9. Two chicks are from her own light blue eggs and the remaining 7 are from her sisters. They are all the babies of Marcel - king of the flock. She fiercely guards them by day and warms them at night, softly clucking them to sleep.