We have Broodiness!
October 21, 2010 § Leave a comment
Given that we’ve virtually never gone more than six weeks without someone going at least a little bit broody, we thought the girls would be falling over each other to be the first to mutate into a Fluff-Monster. But no. In the weeks leading up top the move, despite some unseasonably warm weather (usually a good trigger), they all stayed resolutely sane and productive. Then after the move, as days stretched into weeks … nothing. We’d been leaving the nest eggs in the nest boxes; letting Bessie sleep in their if she was a bit tardy getting on to the perch at night; even made a point of bok-boking to Ella and Bessie and Poppy (our three best – or at least, most likely – candidates) whenever we walked past or collected eggs. Nothing. Not a thing. Not a twitch. In desperation, we started doing some online research about ways of triggering a broody spell …
But two days ago Poppy seemed quite keen to stay on her egg after laying it, despite Lily trying to muscle in on top of her. She wasn’t bok-boking yet, or fluffing up. And she was still laying. But it looked hopeful, even though she came out of her own accord in the afternoon, and went to bed on the perch as normal. Just … enjoying the nest? The feel of eggs?
Yesterday she spent a good four or five hours in the nestbox before she was due to lay. In the late afternoon I decided to lift her off the nest, see if she’d march straight back in. No, and she’s not growling. But she definitely had a touch of fluff-monster going on, and her eyes are starting to look a bit mad. Too soon to be certain, but looking hopeful.
And this morning she’s clicked. Still laid an egg, but shrieked at me when I opened the nestbox, and shrieks at any of the other hens who so much as look like coming near her. So I’ve reassembled the broody coop, given it a freshen up, and a nice deep nest of shavings. We’ll move her in to it on Saturday, and see if she sticks.