That's our "Mama Claire". One chick shy of being an Octo-Mom.
Last night we brought the chicks out to see if Mama Claire and Little Lizzie were truly interested in motherhood or if they were using broodiness as an excuse to take a break from egg laying. Turns out Little Lizzie (photo below) is on egg laying hiatus and has no desire to explore motherhood. Mama Claire, on the other hand, willingly and happily took the five I originally offered her and then the two Lizzie violently rejected.
Lizzie growled, howled, and pecked the adorable little puff balls before I quickly swooped them out of her reach. I tried putting them under her and she kicked them out.
She clearly wanted nothing to do with the job she was given.
So, Mama Claire and the 7 chicks are doing very well in their cage that we've placed in the coop. When she eats, they come scurrying out to eat with her. When she drinks, they drink. They jump all over her like she's a playground toy and she sits patiently, enduring all the childish games. What a wonderful girl!