For the past week, maybe more, I've been hearing two different hens do their "I just laid an egg" squawking right around the tool shed. You know, where they're not supposed to be laying eggs. I never got there in time to see exactly where they came from, they'd just be leaving the general area. I looked around the shed, under the shed, in the pile of stuff leaned up next to the shed, but wasn't able to find the suspected hidden pile of eggs.
Then this weekend, Paul, Rhiannon & I were sitting watching the goats graze near the shed when I spied an egg peeking out from just under the front of the shed. I went down on my hands and knees and found three other eggs. And after brushing a pile of leaves aside, I saw this:
At first I though it was just one of the squawkie hens, but she didn't move at all during the day. And when nightfall came, she didn't go in the coop with the other chickens. I checked on her in the morning and she was still there and when I checked again before dusk, she was still sitting there.
So I guess my wish for a broody hen has come to fruition! But I was kind of hoping that it would happen in the safe confines of the coop and not in the "wilds" outside where there are numerous nighttime critters more than happy to have a midnight snack of chicken.
I'm not sure how long she's been under there, although I suspect at least since my last official chicken-count from last week. I'm not sure how many eggs she has under her as I cannot reach that far and I don't want to spook here and break up the nest. So I guess the wait is on.
I know that broody hens will forgo food and water for most, if not all of their time on the nest, but I felt badly for her not knowing how long she's been under there or how long she will continue to set under there. So I managed to toss a juicy pear just within reach of her beak. And she just looked at it. Well, actually she fluffed up and did the "don't touch my eggs or I'll kill ya' bitch" thing. And then she looked at it. Not sure if she ate it because I left her alone again.
Crossing my fingers that she survives the remaining nights on her nest and that we'll have peeping chicks here soon.
Because you know, we need to make more hard boiled eggs!