Friday, December 23, 2011

Is There a Chicken Shrink in the House?

BO decided to get off the nest the other day, Wednesday, and in her place were a black sex link and a RI Red. She was in another corner of the barn, on the floor of course. DH said she had been off the nest most of the day and in her new spot. So, here we have a clutch of eggs that she had been brooding on for a week, and then she changes her address. I don't know if the other 2 pullets were trying out her method of squatting in a corner, but I sure wish I had taken a picture. I don't know if they were laying eggs, taking turns with her keeping the eggs warm, trying to be copycats, or what.

Now, what to do with the eggs. You see, I don't keep tabs on BO cock, so I don't know who he is servicing, or what. But I do know that I don't want to collect the eggs and break one open into the frying pan only to find a chick embryo. Ick! Call me squeamish, but that would just about put me over the top and then I'd never want an egg again. Instead, I had DD collect the eggs on the floor of the barn and get rid of them.

But whom do I find on the original nest yesterday and today? My confused BO pullet. Is this what they call sowing your wild oats in the chicken world? She is starting all over again. I would have left the first batch, but hubby said she hadn't been on them at all, and there were the other 2 squatting, or laying, or doing whatever on the clutch. I am hoping there is some chicken shrinks out there to help me out. Next time, do I just leave the eggs that appear abandoned? I know she has to get off to get food and water, but honestly, she just let 2 other hens hijack her clutch and then abandon it. Does she know she is starting over? What if she gets off in 2 weeks? I can't make chickens or eggs out of her. The last time I had a hen brood, she did so out of sight. We never even knew she had been brooding until one day she appeared in the barn with a dozen adorable little chicks. I will try to be patient and let her sort out her nesting instincts.


  1. Wish I could help, but alas, I just put them in the pot. Merry Christmas, and God bless.

  2. :) Stephen, Yes, she will be destined for the pot one day, when she is old and no longer useful. I figure I have to give her the benefit of the doubt and let her try to raise some chicks. Or at least try to convince me that is what she is indeed doing.

  3. Phyllis (N/W Jersey)December 23, 2011 at 7:06 PM

    I had a banty broody hen-she would roll my
    RI Red (they had no interest in them)eggs from the 4 other nesting boxes into her nest! That is all she wanted to do - just sit on eggs .. day in-day out. When I did want new chicks, I would put the date on each new egg that she was sitting on with a marker pen. After 21 days, you can hear the chick peeping in the egg. If no sound by day 22, we would dispose of them. I finally gave her to a local farmer because all she hatched were roosters!! I only kept one though. Charlie is the nicest, most handsom rooster you ever saw! Loves to be picked up and petted and he follows me around like a puppy. Your BO sounds young, she'll get the hang of it -just watch her next time she starts to get broody and keep the pen handy!

  4. Phyllis,
    Great idea to date the eggs! Yes, she is young- she's a tax pullet, born on April 15, LOL! Maybe she is "paying" her taxes, you know, working off what she owes before actually paying us with chicks! But maybe she is like yours, and just wants to sit on eggs, for the love of Pete (whoever he is). I'll keep you posted, whatever she decides.


Your thoughts are welcome!