You know, you want a broody. You need a broody. You try to make a broody. And…nada. Zip. Zilch.
Then you get a batch of chicks. Heck, you even get a second batch of chicks. And once the first batch of chicks is damn near feathered in, and the second batch of chicks is settled in their new brooder…THEN you get a broody.
But not the one you expected.
The last couple of bedtime checks, I have done my customary roost count, to find myself one Plymouth Barred Rock short. This happens. Sometimes a straggler will be locked from the coop, and need to be corralled back into the fold. A quick 360 told me that was not the case last night and the night before; Abby was on her nest.
Which is weird. She has been known to lay past sunset and find her way up onto the roosts after dark, but she’d already laid during the day. And, when approached, she’d make that irritated growling noise I had been expecting from Buffy during my Grand Experiment, and had never received.
So, did she think she was laying late for the second time that day, or did she have another purpose in mind? This morning, that question was answered when I opened the run door, and my count came up short one Barred Rock. Abby was still on the nest. She’d slept there.
Abby, I’m reasonably sure, is going broody, if she’s not already there. She hasn’t actually pecked at me yet, but has a pretty good growl (see the video on the Heedley’s Hens Facebook page), and won’t let anyone near the nest. Which is a problem for Alexia, her nestmate.
This morning, I booted Abby out of the coop, and locked Alexia in, with 2.0 out loose, god help her. Abby continued to puff and strut and growl like a hormonally-challenged tom, even when out in the yard, wings dragging, the whole scene. Alexia laid her egg mercifully quickly, and Abby took over the nest, remaining there even to writing.
The second I approach her, she growls a harsh warning and puffs out all her feathers, thusly:
Now, there are no eggs underneath her. She did lay today, and I took that one away. Short of continuing to remove her from her nest, chickeneers, what can I do?