Alsty did it again. Four Swedish Flowers, two Polish, and two Hoppy babies! I knew I could trust good old Alsty. Tonight at dusk I will tiptoe out to her brooding pen with a bucket of nine. Nine more chicks that is…eight Black Copper Marans and one Hoppy baby. The last incubator-hatched chicks of the 2017 season. Alsty can handle 17 just fine. She mothered 18 last time.

And then guess what? For the first time since January 1st, no chicks in the house!

It will be nice to take a break, and enjoy watching the young ones grow up. The coops are overcrowded, but everyone free ranges most of the day, all over half an acre of field, and tree-lined creek, and wood chip paddock, and horse barn; so it doesn’t matter. There are plenty of night perches, and by the time the cold wet weather keeps the flocks under cover, I will have chosen next year’s breeders and layers, and sold off the rest.

I’m glad I decided to hatch a few Hoppy eggs. She’s no fancy purebred, but she is the most indomitable chicken I know. With three chicks, I should get at least one girl. Hopefully she will take after her momma.