I love visiting my parents in the spring because they live on a farm and there are always baby animals there this time of year. This time around, they have some chucklings and some kittens. First, the chucklings: a hen kept trying to set on some unfertilized eggs (we have no roosters) in the usual egg-laying spot, preventing the other hens from laying any eggs. My mom got tired of this and stuck the chicken inside an old cage. She then went around the property gathering an assortment of duck eggs that our lazy ducks weren’t caring for, and stuck them under the hen.

The hen didn’t like being cooped up in the cage, but she eventually settled down and kept the eggs warm. A couple days ago, they hatched and this hen now leads around a flock of fluffy little ducklings… Or chucklings, as my parents have been calling them. It’s crazy that even one of the six eggs hatched, because Mom thought they had been left alone for days, unwarmed by any duck bottom. Somehow, all six hatched and the ducklings seem fine with their adoptive mother. I got photos with my dad’s Pentax, so I’ll post them soon. It’s been pretty comical watching her lead them around the yard, clucking and pointing out bugs that they pounce on. This has happened to my parents once before, but that was only a single duckling with a mother hen. There were some problems where the hen would try to roost in a bush, and the duckling would just sleep below her on the ground. That duckling also wanted to swim while the hen wanted none of that. Other than that, the duckling turned out fine.

There are also two sets of kittens. The older set of four kittens are all identical, gray with black stripes. The younger set of kittens were just brought to the house today, and their eyes look barely open. They have beautiful colors: one’s black, another orange, another dark gray with stripes, and the fourth is a creamy gray color with black ears. I got a short video on my iPad of the four of them in a cardboard box, napping.