Saturday, August 3, 2013

Chicken Relocation Project

Broody #2 has gone three days without eating the eggs.  I managed to put 16 underneath her.  She was still in the top section of the nest boxes inside the coop and if you've ever been a keeper of chickens you will know that you can have seventy-three nest boxes and only ten chickens, but eight of the ten will try to smoosh it's feathered backside into just one of those boxes.  When I went out earlier this morning for my chicken-check she was still in the top row of boxes, but not in the same box.  The other broody was in her box....the one that I have yet to dispatch and turn into a delicious Mexican themed supper.  Apparently Broody #2 is a big pushover.  She got scooted off her clutch of eggs and then took up residency in the box right next to the clutch, still puffing and squawking like she actually has something to protect.  All that scooting and shoving and pushing on top of all those eggs won't end well.  I threw gently removed Enchilada Chicken out of the coop.

After this morning's rain subsided (yes, more rain, and I'm not about to complain!) I started cleaning out the small kidding pen where the goose used to be locked up during the night.  I say used to, because I can no longer convince the not-so-little-anymore bugger to come anywhere near me when it starts getting dark because s/he knows that I'm going to pick him up and put him in the pen for the night.  So he has been on his own at night inside the goat area.  The goat area is fenced in with cattle panels, but that's not going to keep a raccoon or an opossum out of there.  So far the goose has survived and hopefully he's big enough now to make a possum think twice before trying to snack on him.

Wait.  What does the stupid goose have to do with my broody hen?

As usual, I have digressed.

So I cleaned out the kidding turned goose turned broody hen pen.  Which took a lot longer than it should have as I had to sweep/shovel/haul bedding out with only one hand.  Because the other hand was holding a plastic feed scoop that I was using to defend myself from the damned bald faced hornets.  I killed no fewer than seven while out there and that doesn't include the three I crushed into oblivion during the morning milking and six more during evening milking.  I have yet to be stung by one this year.  Last year I was "only" stung twice.  Paul knocked the start of a bald faced hornet nest off the eaves of the house about two months ago but there is obviously another nest around nearby.  I swear, it doesn't matter how many of those buggers I kill, they keep on coming.  Damn the queen and her incredibly productive procreating abilities.

Wait a second.  Where was I?  Cleaning the pen.  Broody hen.  Eggs.

After cleaning and putting new bedding in the pen, I put a box in the corner, took all the eggs and the broody hen and put her in there.  And she hate, hate, hated the new setup.  Kept trying to fly out of the pen.  Didn't even looked at the new, fluffy, clean, safe and secure nest box I carefully made for her.  Ungrateful bird.

When I came in from evening milking I noticed that she finally settled down and set up camp in the nest box.  Hopefully she'll be able to hatch out some new brood for us as I've noticed we've lost another two chickens since the last time I bothered to take a head count at night.  We'll know in twenty-seven or so days.

Paul's Take
Quit wasting your time on the broody hens.  If they can't easily rear young, we don't want them wasting time on failed hatches, we want them to lay eggs so I can have a sausage and egg breakfast.  Toss them off the nest and be done with it.


  1. HAHA Enchilada Chicken I love it :)

    Every story makes me that much happier I have resisted the chicken urge.

  2. Our hens won't raise their own chicks so we just incubate. I found an egg breaker the other day so she may have to leave in the next couple of days. She's going after the new chicks too.

  3. Carolyn,

    I have a good enchilada recipe if you need one for that chicken, lol......

    I kind of like Paul's take on the eggs :P

  4. Broody hens with psychological issues. Uncooperative geese. Other than the bald faced hornets (of which I've never heard and hope to never meet), your critter woes sound strangely familiar.

    I congratulate you on your frequent rains -- sigh...that must be so nice...

  5. We got a nice rain yesterday too, my garden looks like a jungle ☺
    I have a new mamma with five babies under her penned up in a cage. It's been to muggy and buggy to butcher Hannibal so she's still around and I have to protect the littles. Having two sets of mammas and babies has added more to my usual work load. My whole day is spent outside scooping broody poo, checking waters, and reloading food trays. It's worth it though, they are soo cute.

  6. Tell Paul my hubby feels the same way. Chicks are $.79 in the spring at the co-op. Why waste 21 days of no eggs from that chicken that I know aren't going to hatch anyway, because something always goes wrong? Darnit, I just want to hatch some damned baby chicks of my own!(As I stomp my foot and have a temper tantrum.)

  7. Sounds like you need to invest in an incubator and then dunk some chicken butts in some ice water! I have had to do that with several hens in the past. It takes a few days. Then they may need to go to "time out" for a few more days. But that usually stops the broodiness for awhile. Good luck with the new broody pen!

  8. I'M WITH Paul on this one! Except it took us all summer tossing the broody hen off the empty nest. I am not sure she isn't still spending too much time there.

    The only chicken I could successfully let set and raise her babies was a banty.

  9. I have three broody hens that I have to yank out of the nesting boxes on a fairly regular basis - in the spring. Once summer hits, their broodiness seems to vanish. I have one hen who is a great brooder and she's the only one who gets to set.