Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Fifteen is the Magic Number

My new hen, August, chose 15 as her number of eggs to go broody on.
Back in July, I found her secret hiding place.
She promptly moved the secret hiding place.
Across the driveway.

Every night, when I lock up the hens in their coop, I do a head count.
Luckily, the hens turn in before it's completely dark, because I counted and discovered I was missing one.

I walked the perimeter of the house. No hen.
I looked under bushes by the house. No hen.
I wandered the property a bit. No hen.
I "chook, chook, chook, chooked". No hen.
I rattled grain in a bucket. No hen.
I looked in her secret hiding place. No hen.

I realized she had not laid an egg in that place for some time, but was still letting herself out of the run every day.
She must have a new secret hiding place!

Rifling through the ornamental grasses in the near dark comes with its own risk. Wasps find the grasses especially attractive for setting up housekeeping. If I hit one, I'd find myself covered in wasps, as there was just enough daylight for them to see me.

I'd take my chances, as my hen would be no match for the Great Horned owls if she decided to come back to the coop in the final moments of the daylight.

I finally found her.
Poor thing had decided to go broody. She'd laid enough eggs, in her little chicken mind, to sit them. What she didn't understand, is that they weren't fertile. Tuesday, our roo, had taken no interest in her as far as mating goes.

I picked her up and marveled at her little nest. She even lined it with breast feathers. So smart for such a young hen. As I walked her back to the safety of the coop, I had a little "birds and bees" discussion with her. I don't think she heard me though.

The very next morning she was back out there and horrified to find all her eggs were gone.
There was much chicken "baawwoook!, bawoook!, aawwkkk!" from the front of the property. So much so, that it caught the attention of the dogs---in the house.

Looks like she'll have to find a new hiding place.


  1. Maybe you should get her busy planting wheat and making bread to distract her.

  2. Poor thing! Maybe she needs botox or something...Tuesday must be a superficial roo to not want to help the girl out!

  3. Hahahaha! I can SO relate to this post! Poor girl. Did you end up breaking her broodiness?

  4. Oh, I know how sad a broody hen can be! Poor August! She had the eggs and nest and everything. She was in heaven, she thought she had a big happy family-in-waiting! Her poor heart was probably broken when her eggs were found to be gone!! Is she still broody? If you know of a way to break them of their broodines, please do let me know!