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Time’s Up! July 11, 2006

Posted by Laura in Uncategorized.
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If you look closely in the picture, you can see a hen in nearly every nesting box (the ones who really like privacy are in the boxes with the curtains).  But those hens aren’t laying eggs.  No, they are each determined to raise a family.  I’ve made nice brooding coops for them, but they insist on trying to have children in the high-rise.  This is not working well.

nestingboxes7-10-06.JPG

The fresh eggs get mixed in with the partly brooded eggs and you don’t want to have to guess which are which-  cracking into a half-“set” egg is a sight not to be easily forgotten!  Trust me on this.

I’ve given “the ladies” a few weeks to either get over being broody or hatch a clutch and vacate the box.  Only one hen, a bantam Mille Fleur named Josephine, proved capable.  She has one cute little 2 day old chick.  The others apparently got back into the wrong boxes or didn’t turn their eggs or something.  After a month + of sitting, they have nothing to show for it.josephinebaby7-10-06.JPG

It seems silly to have so many chickens, yet be hard pressed for enough eggs to make an omelet, so this morning I went out to remedy the problem.  I collected all the eggs from all the boxes.  I removed the broody hens from their piles of prized possessions.  This meant enduring the wrath of very protective mamas-to-be.  I have learned to wear gloves, but one still got a few good bites in above the wrist.  Score one for the poultry.mamawithtoomanyeggs7-10-06.JPG

You can see that this hen has more eggs beneath her than she can even cover.  She kept poking one under from the left, just to have one roll out on the right.

This is the 3 gallon bucket I used to collect the eggs.  There must be at least 100.  Score one for the humans!bucketofeggs7-10-06.JPG

When I was finished stealing inviable eggs, I put a fresh supply of cedar shavings in the boxes to keep the newly laid eggs clean.  Those stubborn hens hopped right back in the boxes and hurled insults at me.  If they won’t either set in the brooding coops or get over their broodiness, they will have to go to solitary confinement until they are cooperative again- it’s embarrassing to have so many chickens and no eggs to share!

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