Saturday, November 17, 2012

What's happening?

I wondered, after one hen was chilling in her nesting box for days on end what was going on.
Every time I carried her out to eat or drink yellow foot (who's feet aren't yellow any more) would have a go at her. It brought new meaning to peeking order for me. Man, they can be vicious!

My poor jumpy who has always been the bossy one was taking it on her chin and putting up with the abuse. Cowering and shy, so unlike her.

After a week, she wouldn't eat or drink. Under her belly was also now bare, like a *plucked chicken.....

She would lay an egg (sometimes) and sit on it, always possessive, never leaving it.

When someone got near she would double in size, spreading her feathers trying to look scary but no, she actually just looked so beautiful!

Upon reading, goggling and my mother I discovered she was in fact broody.

Q: What does the word " broody " mean?
A: When a hen is broody, that means she wants to hatch her eggs. A breed known as broody has hens that often, individually go broody, and they may not even need eggs to set on to be broody--they may go broody in a nest with no eggs. Further, if there are eggs in the nest, if there is not a rooster in your flock, your hens will not know that their eggs won't be fertile. Your hen will seem to be in a sort of bad temper while she broods, she may pluck out her breast feathers so she can be closer to the eggs, and she may even screech a warning at any birds or people who come near her nest! 

The answer?
Put her in a cat cage, somewhere safe but in a draft. A wee bit uncomfortable so she won't feel like laying an egg. Hay, water and food and leave her there for three days. She will get over her broody-ness, get her personality back and get on with it with the others.

We are on day two of having a chicken at our front door, one day to go......

Interesting stuff!

*Bad joke

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