We have so far been blessed with good chick luck and attentive mother hens! All 8 eggs (4 under each hen) hatched and look healthy so far (knock on wood). The hens are very protective. WF has a few good peck-marks on his hands!
Here's the one we call SuperHen: she never tolerated much nonsense from the rooster and never needed a saddle. A few of these eggs were likely not hers- WF chose them for her at the beginning of her broody time.
One little one still has wet feathers in this picture! Awww...
The clutches (?) are about a day apart, and Bluesaddle Hen is already teaching hers to eat. And the Hens have had some great service from WF: he brings them food and water on the nest. Very sweet!
Thanks for everyone's good wishes with this endeavor and my grandmother's passing. I am spending much of today editing a CD I recorded 5 years ago of both my grandparents laughing and talking about their lives. I will give more copies of the edited version to relatives this weekend at the funeral.
I am so glad I have at least this much recorded- it was wonderful to listen to and remember. Of course, it made me think of 100 other things I'd like to ask them, and wish I had done another one of just my grandmother this past spring. My grandfather was a bit of a ham, and really "got going" more on this CD than she did. He loved to play the harmonica and was quite good, and she loved to rib him about it.
If any of you still have your own grandparents or other elders around, I highly recommend renting some CD recording equipment and saving some voices for posterity. It's amazingly simple, and you'll be glad you did!