Sunday, May 12, 2013

Mama Wannabe

(Broody: being in a state of readiness to sit on eggs to hatch them; marked changes in behavior and physiology <a broody hen>.)

One of The Girls has gone broody on us.  It didn't happen overnight but it did take a few days before we even realized something was wrong.  Mainly, I noticed the quiet when The Girls were around.  Oh, sure, they made their usual chicken squawks and sounds but something was missing.  Or someone.

Sweetness, the Red Leghorn, was missing.  Sweetness, the goofy one, oblivious of her surroundings or dangers from above (hawk!), always talking to herself.  That was it, I realized, it was quieter because I wasn't hearing her happy murmurings.

Each time I looked for her I found her in the coop, sitting on a nesting box.  She clicked at me, gave me the chicken eye, puffed herself up and went back to sitting.  After removing very warm eggs from under her I let her be.

After a couple of days of this strange behavior I did a Google search and discovered that Sweetness was being broody.  She wanted to be a Mama.

I guess a hen can turn into henzilla when she's being broody.  But, Sweetness, aptly named was her usual sweet self.  No fighting or biting even as I removed her from the nesting box.  Temporarily she forgot about her broodiness and acted like her usual chicken self (eating and drinking, chasing a flying bug, and scratching the ground) before returning once again to the nest.  

Unfortunately for her it's not meant to be.  For one thing you need a rooster for a fertilized egg.  We could probably adopt a fertilized egg or two from one of the neighbors, but we really don't want any chicks or any more chickens.  We're happy with our flock of four and The Girls seem to be quite content with one another.

So yesterday Sweetness was locked up in Broody Detention.  For the next few days she'll be in the garage housed in an extra-large wire dog crate.  We have a little fan set up and the airflow through the wire cage is supposed to bring her body temperature down and (hopefully) snap her out of her broody ways.

Angry Bird

The other Girls have been visiting her and sharing a snack or two.

Sympathy Visit

Maybe one day Sweetness will be a Mama but not this time around.

To our own Mothers, YH and MKP, Happy Mother's Day.