No Ma’am. Not Yet. Not Today.

Last night was one of those times that tried my little animal-loving soul.

It has only been a month since Little One hatched.  This past week, I’ve been watching her with some concern.  Jasmine stopped talking to her the way mama hens almost constantly chatter to their babies.  And stopped responding to her little bird cries sometime.  It was way too early for Jasmine let Little One fend for herself, in my humble opinion. Last year Jasmine stayed with her babies for about six weeks.  Little One, at four weeks old, doesn’t even have that prehistoric teenage look yet.

She's just a BABY!

She’s just a BABY!

She still sits on the edge to drink—just like a kid using a step stool to reach the sink!

She still sits on the edge of the bowl to drink—just like a kid using a step stool to reach the sink!

On the other hand, Little One seems to be doing fine, except for her plaintive chirps from time to time. If Jasmine isn’t close, usually Aunt Rapunzel is. Often in the afternoon I find all three of them resting in the shade. I was concerned, but not freaked out.

However, while we were eating dinner late in the evening, I heard Little One chirping…and chirping…and chirping.  When I went to investigate, I found Jasmine on the roost in the red coop hunkered down with the other ladies, totally ignoring her baby.  Little One was outside the open coop door completely alone (everyone else had gone to bed) literally screaming for her mama.

The thought, “Well, I guess mama knows best,” briefly went through my mind.  And then…I thought again.  This time it was, “To hell with that.”  I went back into the coop.

“Jasmine, suck it up,” I said.  “Sometimes mothers get tired.  All that chirping/whining and pay attention to me and but I’m-bored/lonely/sad/hungry come-be-with-me-Mom talk from the kids.  We moms get tired. But we don’t leave our babies before they’re ready.  And Little One is not ready.  I say so and I’M THE DAMN CHICKEN MAMA.”

Then I gently grabbed Jasmine off the roost and took her to their nursery in the yellow coop. It’s like a little starter apartment for mama and baby—a place for baby food, water, and the nesting box “bedroom”.  Little One was close on my heels, wings flapping akimbo in her haste to keep up.  I gave them some scratch treats, and as I left the nursery they were pecking at it, with Little One’s chirps a bit less frantic.

Later, I went out again to check on them. Jasmine seemed resigned to fulfilling her duties.  Little One seemed happy to have her mama close, although maybe sensing this was a very temporary situation.

I'll do this, but I'm not going to even pretend I'm happy about it.

I’ll do this, but I’m not going to pretend I’m happy about it.

Today after morning treats, with Little One fending for herself to get her share—and doing a pretty good job of holding her own amongst the big ladies—Jasmine wandered over to her favorite corner of the barnyard with Little One right by her side.

Now that's better.

Now that’s better.

I know time marches on and I can’t intervene forever.  But she’s got no siblings.  Last year when Jasmine said goodbye to her babies there were five of them to take care of each other, to huddle confused in the nesting box without their mama. And they were so much bigger. So yeah, I can’t intervene forever. But I can for a little while longer, right?

**Shared at (mis)Adventures MondaySimple SaturdaysFrom the FarmHomestead Hop and Our Simple Homestead**


  1. Frances says:

    I know nothing first-hand about raising chickens, but as a mom, I vote yes! 🙂

  2. Good for you Joan! That lonesome little girl would break my heart!

  3. Hey, you’re the Chicken Mama. You can do whatever the heck you wanna do! So there!
    daisy recently posted…The Maple Hill Hop 89

  4. Oh definite yes vote here! Sometimes you just have to take the hard line with them! 🙂
    Cath recently posted…Jul 13, Heat exhaustion in chickens.

  5. Oh my goodness, this is awesome. (I read it to my husband!) Good job, you are absolutely right!
    Jennifer A recently posted…Friday Farm Day

  6. I love it…”Im the Mom and I said so” attitude with the chickens!!! that’s awesome! thanks for sharing Little One and Jasmine on From The Farm. It’s one of our featured posts this week, so come on over and grab your button to display! Hope to see you again this week!
    heather recently posted…How to Can Dried Beans

  7. I know our momma and daddy duck after just 2 weeks are feeling the parenting strain LOL but they have 8. Thanks for sharing on the (mis)Adventures Monday Blog Hop! Can’t wait to see what you have this week!!