The most amazing thing happened two weeks ago on the Inter-Faith Food Shuttle Tryon Road Teaching Farm. One of our hens hatched five baby chicks!! The sneaky “Mama White” hid under the coop with her eggs for 21 days until they hatched. Given that IFFS farm staff collects eggs three times per day, it was quite the surprise to see these new baby chicks hanging out with all the other ladies in the "Pink Cadillac" coop.
“I’ve never been so shocked in my life,” said IFFS Farm Manager Kay Coleman. “I went to check the waterers and there were five baby chicks!”
When the Teaching Farm last had baby chicks (78 to be exact) this past November, these chicks came to Tryon Road from a hatchery. Coleman confirmed that this is indeed a first for the IFFS Teaching Farm.
“We’ve never had chicks hatch out on their own before,” said Coleman.
New accommodations were quickly assembled for the new family. Coleman put together a private nursery and, with some help, moved “Mama White” and her babies into the safer coup.
“I'm glad I got to help with the move last night,” said IFFS Incubator Farmer Kristina Wilhelmson (aka Red’s Farmstand) via Facebook. “It made my day! Way to go Mama White!”
Coleman reports that the new baby chicks are safe and sound, and enjoying a delicious diet of bugs, cucumber, and watermelon. Growing fast, they already have feathers on their wings and can fly a little bit.
According to Coleman “Mama White” is also taking to her new role, and is “a very protective mom.” Whenever there is any kind of startling sound, “Mama White” will flare open her wings. All her baby chicks will come running under her outstretched wings as “Mama White” lowers herself to cover and protect her young.
These little chickens are making a lot of people smile! Come by Tryon Road today (map) and see for yourself!
By Lindsay Humbert, IFFS Digital Media Specialist. Contact: Lindsay@foodshuttle.org