Monday, April 9, 2012

Broody hen

Our beloved Flower, Imogen's favorite chicken, has gone broody.  Which means she wants to have babies.

A broody hen is extrodinarily dedicated to her task.  In fact if you google the topic you will find many,  many people discussing it.  Most of them are debating the best way to break a hen of her broodiness.  Some theorize you break them with kindness.  Simply let them into areas they don't normally go, let them explore farther and they will forget about their baby making frenzy.  Others opt for cruelty.  Encouraging you to put the chicken in her own coop with no bedding to places to have her eggs or make a next.  Keep her as uncomfortable and dissatisfied with her situation that she eventually gives up and drops her broody desires.

I dismissed both of these options and decided to help our little mother have some babies.  We are so excited the babies are due on the 10th of April.  Only a few more days to wait.

As we do not have a rooster, none of our eggs are fertile.  So I set about to search for some fertile eggs and stumbled upon and purchased some Olive Egger Eggs and French Black Copper Marans.  Which means we will have dark brown eggs and greenish/blue eggs.  We also went for a wonderful farm tour at a Three Graces Farm and picked up a few more fertile eggs.  Her rooster is a White Jersey Giant and she has a mix of hens, so that groups will bet the barnyard mix.

Needless to say there have been a few hiccup along the way.  I didn't realize I needed to separate her to from the other hens.  After realizing this and trying to separate her, she would have none of it.  Even with her eggs under her in the new nest she tried frantically to get back to her original nest.  So she stays in her current nest with the other girls sometimes stepping all over her trying to lay in the same box.  I have to watch her closely when she comes out once a day to eat, drink and take a dust bath.  Because she will saunter back into the coop and lay on whatever nest of eggs is closest, often not in her nest, the only nest with fertile eggs.  Interesting that she won't let me move her to a new nest, but has no problem moving her self.

So we wait and hope that the babies are growing well in their eggs.  Our little Flower has been a good mother so far we look forward to seeing her mother her babies.

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