Mother hen a dark horse

Mother hen Te Puea with most of her 18 chicks. Photo by Ben Guild.
Mother hen Te Puea with most of her 18 chicks. Photo by Ben Guild.
A Reidston hen has brought new meaning to the saying "being clucky" after hatching 18 chicks on New Year's Day.

The brood, which is part Orpington and part Bantam, emerged from the undergrowth on January 1 unbeknown to the hen's owner Betty Roberts.

A friend who visited on New Year's Day told Mrs Roberts she had 18 new arrivals on her lawn.

An inspection of the grounds revealed a large nest well away from sight, and a 19th egg that had failed to hatch.

"They were definitely her eggs - there were no other hens here," Mrs Roberts said, before detailing how her hen must have spread its wings "30cm-40cm" to cover the eggs.


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