About two months ago, after we had a couple of hens hatch a couple of eggs, and the other nesting hens give up and move on to new nests, I went and cleared out all of the old eggs. I told the boys to start bringing in all of the eggs and not let the girls set anymore. They need to start putting on some weight to get ready for winter.
We were getting lots of eggs, so I never really thought anything was amiss to that plan.
But then there's the ornery old grey hen, who pecks your hand if you try to take her eggs. She had other plans.
Last night #4 came in from chores and announced, "One of the chickens has babies!"
I went out to see. It turns out these two hens were sharing the nest, and they had managed to hatch one egg each. Two new little chicks. We moved the lot of them, and all of the eggs, into the brooder in the work shop. This is really not egg hatching season. If they survive, these chicks will have a long rough road ahead of them. But for the moment, they're doing well.