The Broody Hen, Some Excuses, and a Great Song

It’s been over a month since I’ve posted. I had a great birthday party and a visit from a dear friend. I got the worst flu I can remember, and I’m finally almost over it. I read The Help and loved it. I’m trying to keep up on the house, and I’ve spent an obscene amount of time working on a semi-secret project, which I look forward to sharing with you in December. Yes, I’ve started counting down to Christmas.

Despite all these things, I’m going to outright lie and tell you that I was just wondering how long it would take before somebody mentioned that I hadn’t worked on my blog. Since three people called me on my laziness this week, I thought it was time to get myself back here. So there’s the mini update, but what this post is really going to be about is… the Broody Hen.

Peaches is broody. Broody hens, of course, will stop laying eggs. They can also be a bit nasty to the others who want a turn in the nesting boxes – luckily, our coop was built with extras (though I have heard her sqwauking at them). The Internet, as usual, has been a wealth of information, much of it hilarious.

Did you know that an old solution for a broody hen was to put them in a sugar sack and hang them from the clothesline? Don’t worry, we won’t… sugar sacks are hard to come by, of course. 😉 The idea behind it is sound, though, which is to reduce the “brooding temperature” by removing the comfy nesting materials and allowing the cooler air to circulate around a hen. Another “trick” is to dunk the chicken in cool water. I also understand that isolating the chicken away from her usual nesting box can break the habit, and this is a solution we’re willing to try.

We have, on dry days, kicked her out of the coop and closed the door for a few hours. It’s good in that she eats while she’s out. It’s ridiculous in that she is LOUD in her displeasure. One of the funniest things we’ve seen yet is all four hens lined up on their ramp to get in the coop. The first chicken realizes the door is closed and there’s nowhere to go, but the last chicken isn’t receiving the memo to back it up.

In good news, our younger hens have started laying, which is a source of great excitement. So we’re getting somewhere.

And on that note, you deserve a cute video for your patience. I warn you that it’s a catchy tune. We’ve been known to wander around on Saturday mornings humming it. Enjoy!

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