Tuesday, May 6, 2014
Don't tell my husband: there's a chicken in my garage.
For the past week, Penny has been broody. At first, I thought it was a bit cute and funny. After all, we have no rooster. She can sit on those eggs for 20 years, and they are never going to hatch. Our Buff Orpington chickens are so sweet-natured that she doesn't really mind when I open up the coop and harass her off of whichever eggs she is hoarding. I have unceremoniously pulled her out of there and dumped her on the grass a few times a day, hoping she will get the message. She hasn't.
A week into this thing, her broodiness is becoming less cute. The other two chickens are not allowed into the coop during the day, which means they aren't really laying now either. Rather than 2-3 eggs a day, we are getting 2 or 3 every 2 or 3 days. Yesterday, I had to buy a dozen eggs from the shop, so it was time to give Penny a bigger hint.
This online forum suggested placing the broody hen in a cage lifted from the ground so she could feel the air beneath her bum, a sure sign that sitting around won't warm any eggs. Hoping to avoid a cage purchase, I set up the Peck N Play in the garage. The cement floor is plenty cold to deter broody sitting, and it should be easy to clean after she decorates as chickens do. Let's hope this helps! If not, she might get a cold water bottle to sit on or a quick dip in cold water bath.