I have silkies and they do make the best mums. Very Cute!!!!!
A clucky hen at a wildlife park near Upper Hutt has taken an unlikely brood under her wing – five baby bunnies.
The silkie bantam is the talk of the Staglands Wildlife Reserve since the helpless and hairless rabbits were found in her nest this week.
A young mother, at just eight months old, the hen was very protective of her new family, Staglands wildlife assistant Jayson Davis said.
"She has definitely bonded with them. She'll fluff right up and try to peck anyone who gets too close."
Mr Davis made the discovery. "I stuck my hand in expecting to find eggs, and got the shock of my life to be honest. Eggs don't move," he said.
The mother rabbit sometimes slept in the bantam's nest, and must have decided to give birth there.
The two mums have worked out a shared-custody arrangement: Mother Rabbit has continued to feed her young, and seemed happy to let Mother Hen do the child-minding.
"At the moment the mum's going out on the town, so she must think the hen is the best babysitter in the world."
In about three weeks, the baby rabbits will strike out on their own, and leave the nest.
They will eventually dwarf their surrogate parent, as they are flemish giant rabbits – the largest breed in the world.
"We're going to let nature take its course. At the moment everything's going pretty well, so we're happy to leave them to it," Mr Davis said. Staglands is considering setting up a webcam. - The Dominion Post