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The Broody Girls

Now that we’ve gotten Millie through her broody phase by letting her hatch out a few chicks, we’ve got a couple more broody girls at the farm. As you may recall from the Momma Wanna-be post, when a chicken is broody they have an overwhelming desire to sit on and hatch eggs and they will park themselves in a nest box almost continuously for several weeks, leaving only for a few minutes a day to eat, drink, and poop. This time around our broody girls are Reina, one of our easter eggers, and one of the speckled sussex. I don’t mind having a couple of the ladies take some time off from egg laying, they certainly deserve a break every once in a while, but having two hens camped out in two of the six nest boxes is causing a bit of drama in the hen house. At times there will be two or even three hens crammed into the remaining nest boxes, and at other times our older more bossy girls (namely Rhoda, Raquel, Rosie, and Ramona) will decide they want to be in a box one of the other hens is in and will start pecking her mercilessly trying to get her to vacate the nest box. There have been some pecked combs and beaks and a little bit of blood has been shed, but that’s pretty much business as usual according to the laws of the pecking order! We decided to add a couple more nest boxes to the coop to give the egg-laying ladies a few more options, although it remains to be seen if they will actually use the new nest boxes. Chickens are funny creatures, and they prefer to lay their egg where another hen has already laid an egg. You might think it would be possible to simply move the two broody girls into the new nest boxes. Well, chickens are pretty stubborn creatures too, and moving a chicken into a different nest box than she’s accustomed to laying in is easier said than done. I put couple of golf balls in the new nest boxes which is the trick I used to get the ladies to start laying in the nest boxes they use now, so hopefully in a few days we’ll have some brave ladies willing to break in the new nest boxes. In the meantime, the drama will continue!



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