This is Vulture and Sophie, they are silkie bantams. They probably should have been named something more like Yin or Yang...Ebony and Ivory....Lucy and Ethel...but...I let the kids name them, and well, you know how that goes. This is the second year in a row that these two birds have gone broody together, shared a clutch of eggs and are raising the chicks hatched together. I've never seen two chickens work together to raise chicks before...usually they go broody, hatch the and then protect them from every other hen in the barn yard. These two protect the chicks as well, but usually it's one protecting and the other hen is gathering up the chicks and huddling with them until the argument is over.
They've been out in the yard teaching the chicks how to search for food....again, working together...one will dig up a worm and make the appropriate noises and all of the chicks will flock around her....while the other one continues to look until it finds something...back and forth...cooperation at it's best.
I wish I had gotten a pic of them sitting on their nest(s)...they sat beak to beak for a month...when one got up to get food and water the other would gather all of the eggs into her nest and continue to incubate them until she got back...then they would switch off and the other would go and get some food and water. When the other came back they would again divide the eggs.
Once they started hatching the chicks would run back and forth between hens....never differentiating between the two. I don't know how common this is...if it's a bantam thing, or a silkie thing...I've never seen it before, but I'm glad to have them...they are such a great example of what working together can accomplish.