Occasionally when I let the chickens out to free range, one will not come back. Usually it has become dinner for a coyote, but once in a while, it will reappear and surprise me. This is the case with this mama hen and her chicks.
We were just finishing up breakfast and I was thinking about having a cup of tea with the llamas in the backyard when li'l homesteader dashed into the house squealing with delight. When he finally regained control of his tongue, he blurted out, "baby chicks in the back yard, Betty's (our pit bull "guard" dog) not even eating them!". I stumbled over my feet to get my camera out of my purse and jammed my shoes on as I ran out the back door.
The proud mama strutted all over the yard, showing off her handsome brood to curious rabbits and majestic llamas alike. Betty, ever the protective mother, snarled at the crea for getting too close to "her" chicks. Mamma llama seemed only mildly interested, having recently supplied what she felt to be the supreme gift to the homestead, her crea. After parading her chicks around the chicken coop, mama hen settled down with her babies in the goat pen for a little nap.
What a joyful day!!