Every dating person knows you can’t show the full crazy all at once. It has to happen gradually, or promising prospects will flee. Well, the hens and I must be in a committed relationship, because they are giving me the full crazy these days. Let’s go down the list, shall we?
Abby: broody. Experienced chickeneers will not need me to expound further, but, for the uninitiated… She is sitting eggs, with passion and ferocity. She puffs up and growls if anyone one approaches. She pecked at me the other day, and I’m the one who’s seeing that she eats and drinks. I force her off the nest once a day, to get some exercise and have a poop. Did I not, she would sit there for days at a time.
She is dedicated; she is nuts; she is dangerous. And she’s sitting on two smalls and four fart eggs.
Alexia: flirting with danger. Alexia is the only hen who still insists on laying in a coop nesting box, as the others have been offput by Abby’s threatening demeanor. Not Alexia. She has conceded the specific nest, moving herself over to the right, beyond the partition, but I have found her in the nest with Abby, trying to push her off the spot, or even the eggs. Clearly, she is suicidal.
Buffy: threatening to go broody. The last few days, Buffy has been puffing and growling, and resisting my looking under her for eggs. I swear, if she goes broody, NOW, after everything I tried to do with her, I will…I don’t know what I will do. Is broodiness contagious?!
Hermione: flirting with danger. Aoxa, this one’s for you. Having laid twice in the Plastic Bag Nest, Hermione got bored and decided a new spot was required. I was wondering where on earth her egg was yesterday morning, and came to the conclusion that she had left the nest empty, as a few of the hens have been doing lately.
Late yesterday afternoon, I caught this sight out of the corner of my eye:
That’s the plastic container that holds the wood chips, and some extra garden netting I had left over after reorganising the brooder. There’s quite a lot of it, and it’s all bunched up. And that’s an Hermione egg, under the netting.
How did she…? I have given up asking. This morning, I saw this:
I came back for this shot. Had I had my camera with me the first time, there would have been a video of Hermione pulling at the net with her beak, trying to fashion a nest out of this unbending net. Gentle reader, I give you…The Net Nest.
Maisie: doesn’t know where her eggs are. Maisie has been, I strongly suspect, the producer of all the night eggs I have been finding in the poop pit. This must be the chicken equivalent of a bladder control problem. But, the last few days, she has been nesting, trying to lay.
She has picked up Trixie’s bad habits, unfortunately, and has been cruising the work bench for spots to lay. For a video of Maisie settling in the The Plastic Bag Nest, see the Heedley’s Hens Facebook Page.
Will she lay this time?
Trixie: you know… Nothing has changed. And all would be forgiven if she weren’t so bitchy and LOUD.
That leaves Coraline, Haley, Pip, and Tallulah who are behaving normally.
Is it a full moon??!!