Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Hormonal Hens

Mid-summer means broody hens here at Busy Solitude Farm.  Eartha and the gold hen are excellent nest setters.  They've been stuck for weeks, though they occasionally move over one box, so nothing has been hatchable yet.

This morning I entered the hen pen just as both broodies were taking a break, letting other hens lay in the boxes.

In fact, all three boxes were occupied.  If you think about it, that makes major complications for me!  Each evening I come out with my Sharpie and mark the eggs that are allowed to stay, whisking away any new eggs I'd like to eat.  If a broody hen had her way, she'd set sixteen or twenty eggs.  But even these big "heavy breed" hens can't cover that many effectively.  So I allow about six eggs and take the rest.

It's quite warm today, nearly 90 before lunchtime.  All the hens are panting while inside, then racing outside where they can find some shade.  And everyone is a little edgy.  Poor Spot has dashed right and left trying to escape the wrath of a cranky hen.  Finally he found a quiet place.

Sitting quietly on the roost, he is away from the nest boxes, can watch the comings and going of the coop door, and just take a break for a while.

Which I am going to do now, too.  Hormonal hens wear me out!

1 comment:

The Japanese Redneck said...

Our bantam is trying to sit again. Always the same thing "Flame, I know good and well you didn't lay all those eggs".

We don't keep a Roo in with them anyway.