A clockwork chicken.

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.)

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2 thoughts on “A clockwork chicken.

  1. Do you keep a spreadsheet of your girls? It seems to have become a religion for me. I was determined to be able to distinguish the eggs apart, and keep record of who are the best of my layers. I then want to breed those girls to get more like them. Right now my barred rock girl is one egg shy of my production red. 52 eggs in 55 days. Not too bad!

    My BO on the other hand, is not nearly as productive as Buffy.. Even when Buffy IS recovering. In 55 days she has laid 29 eggs. Almost a week of that (recently) was her being broody, so let’s knock 6 days off of that 55 – so 29 eggs in 49 days. So she averages a little over 4 eggs a week. Well I guess that isn’t THAT bad. Especially considering how much heavier she is than Buffy :P

    Oh I am rambling.. Sorry about that ;) I just think your girls are very good layers. That is my lesson of the day haha

    I also find that Penny (my Hermione ;) ) can lay earlier than the day before. I know it shouldn’t be possible, but she has. She lays the biggest eggs, and is my smallest layer (skip the silkies.. they really don’t qualify as chickens).

    I want to get more like her.

    As for Buffy’s broodiness, She likely won’t quit being broody until you force her out of it. They will sit longer than 21 days. They will sit until they have what they want, or give up hope completely. If you find out how to make them give up, let me know. Olive is really driving me crazy. I can not hatch eggs now, so her broodiness is in vein. I would love to slip some under her, but I don’t have it in me right now, and we have to move her April 14th.

    By the way, are you getting that heat wave over there? It was +22 yesterday and going up to 30 with the humidex today. Remember I am Canadian – but damn! Records are remade this week in the Maritimes!

    • I had thought I would keep a spreadsheet. There’s a app for that. No, really…there is! It’s enough for me to know how many eggs I got in the course of a day. I know who my powerhouses are and who my okay layers are, but I couldn’t give you a precise number.

      As well as Buffy has been producing, Trixie is broken, or something. A week of fart eggs, and now a week of nothing. I’m hoping she’s just taking her winter break later than the rest.

      It has been incredibly hot here, which I love, except for the nightmare that is the ticks. It’s started already. And this is when I have chickens. I can only imagine how bad it would be without them!

      I’m thinking of your move. Good luck and stay cool. I can’t even imagine what a huge, stressful job that’s got to be…

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