Wednesday, April 14, 2010

My chicken ladies have gotten really carried away with this broody business. 
What was fun and exciting with one hen is completely overwhelming and intimidateing with the better part of a flock.

We have two broody hens, another who would like to be (I am strongly discouraging her) and many who are needlessly contributing their eggs for hatching.  
One of the broodies is the Cuckoo Maran and seemingly sane. Her clutch of eight or so eggs seems well within her abilities and she has maintained her sweet disposition.  The other is a Dark Cornish, she was the first to go broody and I think it's fair to say she is taking this instinct way too far. She is allowing any and all other hens into her nest to add to the clutch and at last count she had twenty one eggs.  

I know that there is no way she can rotate, and heat that many eggs (not to mention that some of them were laid two or more weeks apart) what I don't know is what I should do about it. I suspect  that some (perhaps most) should be culled but I don't have the foggiest idea where to begin on that. I am not very comfortable at all with the thought of throwing out perfectly viable, partially incubated, eggs.


  1. You could candle them. A shoebox would work for a candling box -- flashlight in one end, hole slightly smaller in diameter than an egg in the other end. It's so much fun to see inside a developing egg!!

  2. Thank you! That's what I needed to know. Later today I'll write about the steps we took last night.

  3. How funny that the other chickens are giving her eggs! I can't wait to hear how this ends!

  4. Erin, I really wish I'd gotten a picture of it, I went down to the barn the other day to find five hens occupying the two nesting boxes. I watched as the White Faced Black Spanish laid her egg and hopped down so the Cuckoo Maran could tenderly roll it under her wing and into the clutch. Pretty amazing.