It's no secret that I am completely enamored with my little flock and now we have babies. Yippee!! We had a hen go broody - what in the world does that mean, you ask? Well, maybe not you, but my former CA self would have certainly halted the story there. Just in case you're like me, or the old me, "broody" is when your hen decides she wants to be a mom. Instead of laying her egg and cackling proudly as she joins her cohorts in the field, she sits on it, in a trance, without eating or drinking for 21 days! She also gathers the eggs of her friends and adds them to her pile, or "clutch". Magically, since she has no hands! Anyway, I tried for weeks to break her of it by lifting her off the nest, collecting MY eggs and shooing her outside, but within a few minutes she'd be back on the now empty nest waiting for another egg.
As the saying goes, if you can't beat them, join them; so we let her be. It's kind of amazing how all of this works too. I collected 6 beautiful eggs from all 3 breeds of chickens over the next few days (you can collect eggs for up to a week before putting them under your broody hen. They don't start "cooking" until she sits on them. Fascinating!) Assuming they were all fertilized since "Red" is pretty diligent about his role as a ladies man, I anxiously waited the 21 LONG days for some action. Sadly, they didn't all make it, but we do have 5 little peeps running around now. Hooray for baby chicks!