Saturday, July 21, 2007

Henrietta gone broody

I've noticed in the last few days that my Buff Orpington hen (Henrietta) has been spending most of her time in the henhouse all puffed up. I thought perhaps she was resting in the shade, then I thought maybe she was ailing. Nope...after talking with my friend Sharon, who has been raising poultry for years, we determined that Henrietta has gone "broody" She thinks it is time to raise baby chicks, never mind that I keep taking the eggs away, and there is no rooster in sight. So I've been instructed to block off the nice warm dark nest box (the girls can lay their eggs in the corners of the coop), and gently remove her from the henhouse whenever I notice her staying in there. Hopefully this will discourage her, as a broody hen stops laying eggs, and it is hard on the hen to basically stay inside all the time and mostly not eat or drink. Not to mention that Henny Penny also wants to use the box. On-line research says this behavior is more common in hot weather, and if I wanted to raise chicks it would be helpful, but hungry omnivore that I am, I want to eat the eggs.

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