Imprinting

Remember when we were so excited that Mama Buff had hatched a chick and we took it away in hopes that she wouldn’t leave the nest of purebred Ameraucana chicks we’ve been trying to hatch for months?  Well, apparently she decided that if we weren’t going to let her raise her own chicks, she wasn’t about to hatch more for us.  Our very valuable Ameraucana eggs have been abandoned, and we’re now left to raise a Penedesenca chick (Buttercup, if you’ll recall) on our own.  Not that the kids are complaining, of course.  From day one, they were carrying Buttercup everywhere and she has fully and completely imprinted on them as her “parents.”  Hoping against hope to give the care of Buttercup back to her mother (I’m not a fan of raising baby chicks!), we put her back in with Mama Buff today, but neither of them took kindly to the situation.  Later, Buttercup heard Bunchkin’s voice and went RACING around the pen, trying to find her!  She got stuck, so Bunchkin went in and as soon as Buttercup saw her, she ran as fast as her teeny tiny legs could carry her, right into Bunchkin’s hand!  Needless to say, I think we now have a pet chicken.  I’m praying fervently that Buttercup is, indeed, a hen!

LR baby chick(If you’re having a hard time seeing the chick in this picture, she’s underneath the stuffed chicken’s “wing.”  Thinking Buttercup needed a surrogate chicken mother, Bunchkin lent her favorite stuffed animal to the cause.)

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