Before we get to the popovers (they are soooo good!!!) I have to tell you what I’ve got myself into this time. Truthfully, If I didn’t see this stuff happen I would never believe these stories myself. They are all true….every single one.
We have been battling fire ants for a few weeks but over the last week we began to really lose the fight. The bug man has been here 5 times in one week trying to help us. We’ve been covered in bites which become tiny blisters. I can’t tell you how horrid its been. Thankfully, the infestation in the house was taken care of but not in the barn.
Broody Mama (the tiny hen) that was sitting on a clutch of eggs suffered one loss after another. First, a snake broke into the hen house and ate 6 of her 9 eggs. I was devastated on her behalf. Then as her remaining eggs began to hatch the fire ants invaded her nest and killed one of her chicks right at birth! One chick is doing great and is the love of that hens life and then the last egg….well that’s where things got a little crazy.
When I went to check on Broody Mama I found the fire ants and the dead chick. It was a terrible sight! The hen and her chick were hiding in a corner covered in bites. I screamed so loudly I scared the feathers off that poor bird….I didn’t mean to scare her it was just such a terrible sight (the poor dead chick was covered with fire ants). I kept hearing peeping but couldn’t find another chick. The peeping became frantic….that’s when I found it. A hole in the last egg was being invaded by fire ants!!!!! The little chick was being attacked while still in the shell!!!
The only escape the chick had would be for me to open the egg. Everything I’ve ever read says never open an egg to let a chick out. I had no choice. While trying to rescue that chick the fire ants turned on me and bit me more than 20 times on my hands and wrists. I got the chick out of the shell but it was really not ready to be born. That poor chick was about 2 days from being ready to come out of the shell. I ran inside the house to try and save its life.
The chick was so cold. Broody mama had fled the nest when the ant attack began so this chick had no warmth left. I wrapped him with a towel and held him close while my husband got the heat lights ready. I treated the bites all over his little body with neosporin and hoped for the best.
The poor little thing wasn’t able to hold up its own head so he surely couldn’t eat or drink. We had little hope he would survive. I just couldn’t bring myself to give up. What a terrible way to be born! I spent 3 days getting drops of water into that little chick. Now he eats and drinks on his own. After 2 days he was able to walk. To say I was thankful is a real understatement.
That’s when I realized I had another problem….the chick thinks I’m his mother!!! I have the chicks brooder set up in our master bathroom so I can easily look after him. Now this chick screams all night until I go get him and let him hide in my hair. I walk around doing my chores with this chick in my shirt keeping him warm and close so he doesn’t cry.
It’s like having a real baby!!!!! What have I done! I just wanted to save the little chicks life. Now he has completely imprinted on me and wants to be with me all day. As I write this he’s running around my neck and playing in my hair. Sigh.
Now what? I tried to find another chick about his age to keep him company but no one has any chicks right now. I considered stealing Broody Mama’s chick but that would just crush her….she’s enjoying being a mom. I tried to get Broody Mama to take this little chick….she just chases him away.
I’m a chick Mom. I have no idea how to be a chick Mom. How on earth do I get myself into these things!!!! A better question is how do I get myself out?
May I introduce you to my little friend…. his or her (I have no idea yet) name is “Little Bit”. Is it possible to litter box train a chicken? No? Sigh.
Here is a better picture of Little Bit….
Homemade Popovers ~ Original recipe from unknown source. I’v had it so long I can’t find the source.
Makes 6 popovers
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 cup milk
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
Here we go…
Pre-heat your oven to 450 degrees.
Grease a 6 well popover pan. If you don’t have a popover pan you can use a muffin tin but only fill every other well to leave room for the nice puffy popover tops.
In a medium bowl beat eggs slightly, Beat in flour, milk and salt until just smooth; being careful not to overbeat. Fill custard cups 1/2 full.
Bake at 450 degrees for 20 minutes. Decrease oven temperature to 350 degrees F and bake for 20 minutes more. I like to serve these with a homemade honey butter of perhaps a fruit butter like Neeman Marcus does (I think they serve their popovers with strawberry butter).
Look how great they look…