Chicken Patty is sitting again. And she’s cluckingly, spittingly mad. Doesn’t she look tough?
Amanda asked what one does with a broody hen determined to sit on unfertilized eggs. I had been hoping at least one of our 25 hens would get the urge: the clock is ticking as we do want some chicken in the freezer this year. This is our first year with roosters, too, so with hope the eggs, should someone decide to sit them, would be fertile. I had even gone so far as to secure the lease of an incubator when blammo! Everyone has the urge to sit.
Last year we had no roosters but Chicken Patty (our lone meat bird) went broody. Not willing to miss an opportunity, I let her sit on some duds for a week and THEN I stuck six day-old chicks under her, one at a time, substituting chick for egg. This worked! Jerusha and Johanna and Nice Rose are clucking around the barnyard today and their three brothers went to Freezerville. But I know this plan only works if you actually want more birds.
I have no direct answer for you, Amanda, but I am sure others will tell you in the comments. Eventually, this too shall pass…perhaps harvesting the eggs while wearing gardening gloves is an option. I have heard extremes like sticking the girl in a wire dog kennel, off the ground, and she’ll come out of her broodiness in a day or two. Me? I wouldn’t go that far, but then again I want a broody bird or three. Like most of chicken-keeping, it’s a matter of adjusting to their quirks (“Hey, my chickens are digging up my garden!” “Well then get them out of your garden!”) that I have found to be both fun and somewhat frustrating about having them around.
I suppose they could say the same thing about me. We’ve certainly got each other very well trained.