Saturday, 2 July 2016

Unrequited Hen Motherhood

On Thursday I left home at about 8.15am after having let the hens out of their coop and collected the three eggs that had been laid before coop opening time. When I returned home that evening only seven hens were pecking around in the run. Number eight was missing. It wasn't long before I discovered her in the egg laying compartment of the coop with feathers fluffed up and clucking contentedly as she sat on five eggs that had been provided by her coop mates. She had gone broody and was not a happy bird when I prised her from her fruitless task and removed the eggs. As yet I have been unsuccessful in breaking her hormonal behaviour. If I do nothing she should revert to normal in about three weeks time. That is the timescale for hatching a fertilised hen's egg. Apparently cold baths can knock the broodiness on its head so I might try sticking the hen's nether regions in one of the trugs that collect the rainwater from the greenhouse.


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