This hatch is our third since April. This time around, our broody was Minerva, my faithful and lovely Black Java hen. She loves to sit in a heat wave. In fact, I've learned to expect 100+ temps when she starts puffing up and clucking monotonously in the best box.
Minerva has a special place in my heart. She epitomizes the qualities that made Black Javas a standard breed among early American homesteaders. She is calm, slightly aloof, and doesn't get into squabbles with other hens. She forages successfully and is very watchful while free ranging. And she goes broody like clockwork, is relatively cheerful about being isolated during the gestation period, and mothers her chicks like she was born to do it.
I gave Minerva 15 eggs and 7 hatched despite several being cracked or crushed by other unnamed hens (looking at you, Mahalia, since you loooooove to lay your daily egg with a big clutch of someone else's eggs, and squabbled with Minerva daily to do just that, often leaving a broken egg behind.)
I took Minerva's chicks Inside on day 19 after seeing a bunch of tiny red ants all over the nest, since I had a couple of pips didn't want to take a chance on some horrible fate claiming these babies (especially after losing the last batch when they were orphaned by a very hungry fox.)
Proud to say that of the 8 eggs that made it to day 18, 7 hatched.
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