Well, since moving to the wild lands at the end of McCourtney Road, we have lost 3 chickens to predators. Unfortunately we lost two of them the same day. Once we realized that we were going to need more layers, it had already been more than a weeks time before we noticed that two of the remaining chickens were “broody”. (Broody: inclined to sit on eggs, which are called a clutch if you want to know). We don’t have a rooster, so we can’t hatch our own eggs (yes, you need a boy to make fertile eggs), and I knew it was too late to order some eggs for deliver (I can’t afford to pay for overnighting them). So I hoped against hope that one of the remaining chickens would go broody. And lo, Shiny became thusly broody a week later.
So frantically, I got online, ordered some Lavender Orphingtons, a Barneveldor, and a few Americauna’s to lay green/blue eggs. I expected them to arrive by Wednesday, and they did not arrive. Thursday came and went–no eggs. I then tracked the package and found that it was scheduled to arrive on Saturday. OH NO!! I was having them sent to my work and super sad face that the office is closed on Saturday.
Joyously, the fantastic Nevada City post office dropped them at the front door today (Friday) and the lovely Ashlee brought them to my office when she saw the package! YAAAAAAAAY!!!!!! We got our eggs. After a convoluted trail home, we finally arrived and ran to the house, marked our eggs with Sharpies to know which were hatching and which our chickens laid, then we went to the business of swapping out the non-fertiles with the fertiles. Shiny jumped off the nest after some foraging around her undersides, and ran from the chicken house. I tried not to worry, since she ran to the water dish and drank for a long time. Its ok, I thought, she’ll get back on the nest. And after a bit of scratching around in the grass, she went right back to the hen house. However, when I checked on her, she was NOT on the new eggs. She had chosen a different nest box to settle into. DANG IT! After opening the box again, she ran out seemingly quite upset by the intrusion, and for good reason.
No I really began to worry about the possibility that she would abandon the nest. Thinking that she might not go back to the box with the eggs, I spread the eggs out amongst the three nesting boxes, putting 3 in the box she had just been in, and two in each of the other boxes. I could tell she was still wanting to set on her nest, so I walked away and watched from a distance. Sure enough she returned to the middle box with the three eggs, and was fussing around quite a bit. I let her be and about an hour later when closing the up the hen house after the other chickens had put themselves to bed I found her still setting. Yay! I very gently gathered the other eggs and stuffed them under her. She remained setting. SUCCESS.
We’ll see how things go, but here’s hoping for a sweet brood of chicks in 3 weeks!