Sharing is caring!

What’s your Reaction?
+1
968
+1
138
+1
60
+1
193
+1
16
+1
12
+1
36

Springtime on the farm means babies of all kinds are greeting the world. Barn cats often turn up unspayed or neutered, leading to surprise litters of kittens. Sometimes, they pop up where you least expect them!

A family of farmers in Whittemore, Iowa, recently got such a surprise in a barn where their free-range hens lay eggs.

Hen Protects ‘Her Babies’ On an Iowa Farm

When Hilary Kollasch went out to gather fresh farm eggs from her broody speckled crested hen, she encountered something very odd. (see video below)

As Hilary got closer, she saw the pretty hen was guarding something that was wriggling beneath her. They were black and white like the hen, but these were no chicks! 

“What’s she hiding? I mean, they do kind of look like her,” she said.

Kollasch Family Farms, Matt and Hilary Kollasch, Whittemore, Iowa, Appenzeller Spitzhauben crested chicken, litter of barn cat's kittens, hen guards kittens, 1

Images and media via Instagram/Kollasch Family Farms

Hilary tried to get the hen to move, but this mama protected the babies, pecking at her hand. Eventually, she managed to gently uncover what was hiding there. It was a litter of 5 kittens. Each one purrfectly matched the Swiss hen’s feathers.

Kollasch Family Farms, Matt and Hilary Kollasch, Whittemore, Iowa, Appenzeller Spitzhauben crested chicken, litter of barn cat's kittens, hen guards kittens, 3

Day Old ‘Chicks’

Did the hen mistake the kittens for her babies because of the matching colors? Or was she just a very maternal mama who would’ve cared for any baby in need? Hens have been known to do this sometimes when living around barn cats. Sometimes, cats have even been seen guarding chicks, although in those cases the scenes are sometimes staged.

“She THINKS they’re hers! 🤣 She was hiding 5 itty bitty, less than a day old kittens! And she definitely told me to get out of there! I wonder how long she will try and play mama?” she asked.

Kollasch Family Farms, Matt and Hilary Kollasch, Whittemore, Iowa, Appenzeller Spitzhauben crested chicken, litter of barn cat's kittens, hen guards kittens, 2

Video via Instagram/kollasch_family_farms

What Happened to the Chick-Kittens?

After posting the video, everyone wanted to know how the kittens got there and what happened next. Kollasch explained the mama cat gave birth in the barn. But the timid cat was intimidated by this hen, who chased her out!

When the farmer arrived to collect eggs, the kitty was waiting nearby, ready to be fed her daily meal. Soon, she reunited with her kittens in a room where the hen couldn’t reclaim her ‘chicks.’

“They’re living their best barn kitten lives!” she explained. “The hen was overprotective, and [the] mama cat was timid, so the cat and kittens were moved to a separate room until the kittens could move around freely.”

Kollasch Family Farms, Matt and Hilary Kollasch, Whittemore, Iowa, Appenzeller Spitzhauben crested chicken, litter of barn cat's kittens, hen guards kittens, 6

Image via Facebook/Kollasch Family Farms

A follow-up post shows the happy mama cat with her litter in the safe room.

“We had to fix up a little privacy room for mama and kittens as our nanny hen was a little too protective. They’re all cozied in for awhile!”

Kollasch Family Farms, Matt and Hilary Kollasch, Whittemore, Iowa, Appenzeller Spitzhauben crested chicken, litter of barn cat's kittens, hen guards kittens, 5

As with the many other animals on the farm, the whole family is helping to care for them! Once they are fully weaned these most unusual long-haired chicks will be looking for their furever homes. And we hope that hen hatches some chicks of her own!

Kollasch Family Farms, Matt and Hilary Kollasch, Whittemore, Iowa, Appenzeller Spitzhauben crested chicken, litter of barn cat's kittens, hen guards kittens, 4

You can see more of Kollasch Family Farms on TikTok, Facebook, and Instagram.

What’s your Reaction?
+1
968
+1
138
+1
60
+1
193
+1
16
+1
12
+1
36

Sharing is caring!