Friday, June 1, 2018

Cannibal Chicken Update

We've managed to get our daily egg tally up to 5 or 6, only when we're able to check for eggs every 15 minutes or so, especially in the morning. One day, we brought in 8 eggs because I checked so often, I practically caught them before they hit the floor.

Chris is letting the hens out of the smaller chicken yard so they can eat the weeds during the day. They love it and they repay us by laying eggs in places where we'll never find them. A few hens have stayed loyal to the nests in the chicken house and that's where we get our eggs each day. One black and white Barred Rock hen has become broody. She sits on the nest all day and, as soon as another chicken lays an egg near the nest, she tucks it under her. She's as loyal to those eggs as Horton the elephant was to his.

For better or for worse, most of her "eggs" are golf balls.

Yesterday I went out and heard the distinct cackle of a hen in distress. Our broody Barred Rock was running towards the gate, towards me, making all sorts of racket. I crouched down and she actually came up next to me and continued cackling. Huh. Our hens are not pets. They are used to us and know we feed them, but other than that, they can take us or leave us. I've never before had one come to report a problem. I figured I'd better check things out.

Sure enough, some rude hen had stolen her nest and was sitting on HER golf balls - I mean strangely shaped eggs. 

I thought about it for a minute and realized our broody hen was WHY we were able to keep some eggs from getting eaten each day. She was protecting them. Oddly enough, she doesn't seem to mind when I pick her up every 20 minutes and take the real eggs. As long as I leave the golf balls under her, she's happy.

I shooed the other hen off the nest and left Ms Broody happily hunkered down on her eggs again. We've got a good thing going with her and she deserves a little reward.

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