Broody?

A family member has recently announced that they are going to have a baby.  The question is, while I watch them feather their nest ready for the birth of their baby, does the prospect of another baby tempt me? Errrr……no.  While I love my babies more than anything in the whole world, would do anything for them and spend every waking minute thinking about them (and the thought of another set of twins is oh so tempting, though not guaranteed), the thought of another pregnancy and birth is not so appealing.

The dedicated hopeful

The dedicated hopeful

However there is one lady in our household who has been feeling very broody.  Lilly has spent the best part of 3 days confined to the nest box attempting the fruitless task of hatching our dummy eggs.  I have never had a broody chicken before so of course my initial thought was “is she ill?” but thankfully no, after some research I discovered the truth.  Apparently if a chicken stops laying and is sitting in the nest box pulling feathers out of her chest she is preparing for her new arrivals.  Chickens that continue this behaviour for long periods of time do not eat and drink properly, barley move around and become a little neglected (sounds familiar).  We have a dilemma.  The advice is to remove eggs quickly from the nest box to prevent the behaviour but we have dummy eggs in the nest box to prevent egg eating.  If we do nothing Lilly wont lay eggs and Violet can’t get into the nest box to lay but if we remove the dummy eggs our ladies can deliver according to their birth plans in a dark, warm, soft area, smelling of pine?… (I digress) but Violet might eat the resulting eggs.  In an attempt to keep our healthy bird healthy we took the risky decision to remove the dummy eggs.  Lilly has decided to put her hatching plans on hold and pursue her career in scratching around, pecking at the floor and dust bathing while Violet has laid an egg which remains unbroken, I am eggstatic (couldn’t resist).

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