Apparently giving birth to my second child has made me sympathetic to mothers and potential mothers everywhere. All kinds of mothers and potential mothers. Even chicken ones.
Let’s set the scene.
First off you should be aware that most chickens in a small flock lay eggs in the same nesting box. So while we have three nesting boxes, all seven of our chickens lay their eggs in the same box. Typically they lay their eggs and then leave. Every now and then (happened twice to us in the past year) a chicken becomes “broody” and gets it into her head that she wants to be a mommy and decides to sit on the eggs. Since we don’t have a rooster, in our case they are unfertilized eggs.
No amount of patient sitting is going to hatch those puppies. Er, chicks. If they hatched they would obviously be chicks. But how cute would little puppies be hatching out of eggs amiright?
If you don’t convince the chicken she does not in fact want to be a mommy, she will continue to sit barely moving, only get up for a few minutes every day or two to eat and drink a little. Eggs typically hatch in 21 days, but if a mama keeps sitting and sitting and sitting on dud eggs, she can lose feathers, lose a ton of weight, and really do some damage to herself. She lays no more eggs during this time. Or so all of this is what The Husband tells me. (If you want to know more about this stuff, just ask and I’m sure he’ll be thrilled to tell you about it… the hatching process, how to break a broody hen if you don’t want her to be a Mom, etc.)
Here’s Curly. I found her like this one evening. Sitting on unfertilized eggs.
Following is the resulting text message conversation between me and The Husband that happened over the next few days. For the record, the “Curly Removal Tool” is a soft broom we gently used to shoo her out of the nest a few times, testing to see if she was serious about wanting to be a Mama.
Wanna know what happened next? This.
Oh and this.
The Husband bought Curly a dozen fertilized eggs and built her a private nest box. Curly is going to be a mommy everybody!!! The Husband is currently crafting the maternity ward sign as I blog.
Question of the Day: Shall we start the guesses as to how many will be girls and how many will be boys??