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A Pleasant Surprise July 23, 2008

Posted by Laura in Farm.

It’s always exciting to come out in the morning and find there is new life afoot on the farm. Tuesday morning, I had that treat. On my way out to fill the stock tank, this is what I found.

This Barred Rock hen found a safe place to hide out and set eggs. She showed up with 9 chicks in tow. Aren’t they cute?

Earlier this spring, I had hoped for a hen or two to go broody so I could give her turkey eggs to set. No volunteers stepped forward, so I abandoned the idea of restarting our turkey flock this year. We know that there are 2 hens trying to set eggs under the nesting boxes in the henhouse right now, but this isn’t one of those two. We don’t know where she had made her nest.

When a hen goes broody, she stops laying eggs and stays on her nest. It’s possible to get her over her broodiness without the satisfaction of motherhood, but it can also be a hassle. If you take her eggs away from her, she will often just claim a new pile over and over. I speak from experience when I say you don’t want to mistakenly crack into a partially set egg. It’s usually just easier to let the prospective mama do her thing and be sure not to collect any eggs from her nest. You sacrifice egg production for a bit, but you end up with more layers and/or birds for the freezer later.



1. Marci - July 24, 2008

How cute. I love to see the mother hens with their little chicks.

2. reeska - July 24, 2008

That is so sweet! I’m looking forward to next year when we can do start the “chicken thing”.

3. logan Richardson - August 7, 2008

so how are is the turkey poults doing to this day????

4. Laura - August 7, 2008

No turkey poults this year. I needed to get the hens started by June if we were going to get a flock established and a couple of surplus toms big enough for eating by Thanksgiving.

We had 2 Royal Palm turkey hens survive a few years ago, but they insisted on hiding out in tall grass trying to set their own infertile eggs the following year. Predators finally got them when I couldn’t find them to move them back to safety. I’ve wanted to restart the flock since then, but either eggs weren’t available when I needed them or the hens weren’t willing. Maybe next year.

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