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Mama Cucu

Mama Cucu, our hamburg hen who raised two broods of babies last year, has done it again. We knew she was laying eggs under Steve's parents' deck, but didn't realize she was brooding eggs already until yesterday, when she came out with two tiny chicks. She stayed under the deck with them until this morning, when I looked out the window to see her scraping the mulch away from my tomatoes in the kitchen garden. I then tried to herd them toward the chicken yard, but had to resort to picking up the chicks, and then RUNNING from irate mama until I got near the coop. I put them down outside the yard - mama needs to orchestrate introducing her chicks to the other chickens, which I think she will do if only to get to the food inside the coop. I did put down a chick waterer, which mama hen promptly started showing to her chicks (she is a very good mama!).

fyi, cucu is Swahili for chicken - an incredibly apt name for them at times! And Mama is the form of address for mothers in Tanzania - like Mrs.

We also have a killdeer brooding four perfect eggs in my big garden, which makes weeding exceptionally difficult. Killdeer (a bird related to plovers; think shorebirds) are tireless in their egg defense displays, which include ear-piercing calls and constant "broken wing" displays, where a parent pretends to be injured in order to draw you away from the eggs. The killdeer pair successfully brooded four chicks in my potatoes last year - this year it's the carrots.
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