Silly the Silver Sussex broody isn’t very good at hatching eggs. Why? She fouls her nest, and poopy eggs don’t hatch well. Broody hens ‘go’ once a day, usually when they’re up stretching their legs and eating. But not Silly.

To be fair, she is only on her second brood. And her lack of smarts does come in handy.

Last weekend, she hatched four chicks. Two went to another home to keep a lonely hatchling company. I had ten one-week olds in the indoor brooder, and knew they’d be a lot less work for me with a hen mothering them. So after lights out, I took my box of fuzzybutts outside and tucked them under her ample skirts. She clucked softly to each one as she shifted to accommodate them and they were quiet, in silent bliss.

This morning, when I went out extra early to check on them, she was chirring to her twelve bouncy children, showing them where to get breakfast. Good girl Silly! That’s right, they are all yours…