Ok, it’s officially December now. It’s not time to be broody. But I’ve been having a battle of wills with four broody hens, the most determined of which is Ursa Minor, and the peckiest is Fiesty, predictably.
Then I open the coop to this. This. And this.Not ok!
That’s seven. Seven. Seven broody, growly feather pancakes sitting on eggs. I didn’t have seven broody at once all summer. This is bad. Maybe it’s contagious.
They win. They are sitting on eggs, and since they’re not going to give up, they can keep them. Likely, chicks will die right and left, because it’s not the right time or place to reproduce right now!
Jeez. I can’t put them in nurseries in this weather. It’s super cozy in the coop full of fur chickens all night, but if I isolated the broodies the way I normally do, for the safety of the chicks, the hens would be at risk of exposure. They can die trying to heat their eggs in cold temperature. They’re going to hatch in the coop, and then the moms will go right down the ramp for a meal and a dirt bath, and the chicks will die unattended. That won’t be fun. Only the bright, lucky or strong will survive. (Ursa says: If you’d just let me keep the first eggs, they’d be hatched by now!)
I’ve got quite a number of eggs from them from taking them away, but I can’t sell them, because someone might have started baking them. Therefore, I resigned to the will of the broodies, and went through and carefully marked every single egg, and now if I go through twice daily and pull out the unmarked eggs, then I can get the freshly laid ones out. What a bunch.This little guy just hopped up to watch the proceedings.
Now all the hens are on edge when I lift the lid, because they know I’m going to lift them up and rummage through their eggs, and they hate that. They all bristle and growl, and most peck, and then they indignantly readjust their eggs after I’ve been through. Grumble grumble.