I am continuing my indoctrination of Buffy, gently, carefully guiding her to be my broody. It’s tricky; I can’t flip the switch too soon, or the broody will break before the chicks land April 20, but I do need to keep her on a low simmer so she doesn’t forget that urge she had to set eggs.
And I have no freaking clue what I’m doing.
I am operating on the theory that if I keep her attached to the wicker, flannel-lined nest inside the lodge, she’ll bond to it when I place it in the dog crate, inside the coop, say April 6-ish, when the poults arrive. If she sits eggs for two weeks (her old eggs, waiting in the fridge), I’ll be convinced she’s committed.
(Sidebar: A chicken and a pig both contribute to make a plate of eggs and bacon. The difference is that the chicken is involved; the pig is committed.)
So, I’ve been keeping track of her, ahem…cycle, and bringing her into the lodge whenever I see her looking for a nest. She skipped Sunday, so I knew she’d lay early yesterday. Sure enough, I found her buk-bukking in the barn, so I scooped her up (controlling a Great Dane with my other hand, thank you very much), and deposited her in the wicker basket. She settled down quickly and laid her egg.
I knew she’d be a little later today, and had my eye out for a late-morning lay (that’s what she said!).
I was surprised and delighted to find her waiting for me outside the courtyard gate, asking to be let in. I opened the gate; she trotted across the courtyard to the screen door. I opened the screen door; she hopped up onto the carpeted floor, pattered over to the bench, up on top, then settled into her basket.
So, it looks promising, but I must reiterate: I have no idea what I’m doing.
(I went back and forth between today’s blog heading and “The Manchurian chicken”. It was a very tough call.)