Everyone is outside today! First day out for Foxy and her full-size chicks. She’s overdue for it, but it’s been rainy. Cotton and Daisy know all about out, but have also been in for a bit due to weather.
Ten to one one of these hens (Cotton) is going to fly out and go big world today. And tonight, one set of them has to go to the big house – move in with the other hens in Silkieland. That means the hens will all scrap to sort out their order again, but the chicks will like that a lot.
The greenhouse looks a little different with the vacancies! Can actually walk through it again, now all the chickeries are outside. Inside, there are now only broody hens parked: an astonishing five of them. Outside, Silkieland is a little sparse, with all these girls in setting on eggs. The most recent two were settled in a nest box together, apparently broody, but without eggs. I gave them the interference test (Touch them. Do they puff up, stick up their tails, and screech-growl?)
They’re broody. I thought, they went broody together, I can put them in a box together. They’ll be like sisters, and hatch their eggs together, and the chicks will grow up together– won’t that be cute?
No, not cute. I prepared a box (the very well used Apples box that has done a lot of time by now), and settled the two of them into it, giving them each a few eggs. I came back in a few minutes, and both of them were in there in full fury, puffed up, heads down, beak to beak, snarling at each other. One had promptly stolen all the eggs and had them under her, and the other wanted to be on them and was trying to bulldoze in. Ok then, individual boxes. And Ursa Minor also went broody again at the same time. The little star. I can just plunk her in a box, middle of the day, she doesn’t skip a beat. Long as there’s some eggs where I’m going.
Some hens need to be coddled or they’ll break up. I had one Brahma broody in the coop (a Brahma! So exciting!), and tried three times to move her into a broody box (an XL one), and she wasn’t having it. In the morning, she’d be off her eggs and freakin’ out. Finally I tried to make a better nest in the coop, a raised dais of hay, and just that broke her up for good. Touchy. I’m a little Brahma chick! I think there’s only one, but I can tell it’s a Brahma. The Brahma behaviour, and the feathered feet, are emerging. Adorable! I like the big pillowy Brahmas.
The other two hens in the covered wagons are due soon. Fiesty may be hatching now. Her head was up and she didn’t try to bite a piece out of me this morning. She’s a terror.
She doesn’t peck. She’s gone beyond that. She pinches – grabs a piece and pulls, and she recently integrated a twist. I bet she was Miss Popularity in the chicken schoolyard. She’s the only hen to have drawn blood from me, and she has a knack for hitting the skin between thumb and forefinger or on my wrist. She snake strikes from the dark recesses of the broody kennel when I reach in with food or water (I squawk. I’ve been tempted to throw it at her). Every morning, I get thanked for breakfast like this . Until today, so I suspect something is different. Other than the savage daily attacks, she’s a good sitter. I like it when they settle on their eggs and stay, without too much rummaging around, moving them around – that increases the chances that they lose one.
If hens were dwarves: Fiesty, Cranky, Dopey, Whiny, Lazy, Screechy, and Fluffy