Big, Bold and Broodyful?!

Broody: wishing or inclined to incubate eggs.

ChickenCloseupOur Barred Plymouth Rock “Brock Lesnar”

Exactly one year ago we became the parents to four beautiful hens. With our never-ending goal to keep expanding our homestead, we felt it was the next natural step to take.

As first time chicken owners we had a plethora of concerns that we thought we’d might come across, like is it legal to have chickens in our area, how loud will they be and what about the neighbors!? Never did the term broody cross our minds, especially when selecting the breed of chicken as we were researching them.  Low and behold a few months ago we noticed Maude, our Black Australorp, acting a bit ornery – like a teenage girl on steroids.  As daunting as the task of handling a teenager is, we did what any parents would do, we poked her with a stick. Now i know that doesn’t seem like the best mode of operation, but from reading other forums we discovered that some owners had snapped their hens out of their motherly instinct by prodding them out of the coop. We followed suit and with a little luck disaster was averted! But like any strong-willed teenager she was back on that broody saddle no more than a few weeks later.

On our second go around with all things broody, we decided to take a step back from the picture and see if we could do something other than beating our problem with a stick. So this main hen decided to take some action. Enter, Amazon.com. I swear this isn’t a promotion for Amazon but you really can buy anything on that website. So with their expedited service, just a few days later Maude was sitting on 10 fertilized eggs. I know what your thinking, fertilized eggs? Amazon? Who, what, where, when, why?! Because of the sheer convenience, with work, farming, and all the other needs pressed into a 24-hour day, convenience reigns king.

10 fertilized eggs, with no promise that they’re female, throws a few wrenches into the works, about 10 wrenches to be exact if they turn out to be all male. Living on our small urban homestead we cannot afford the luxury of 10 cocks crowing in the morning!  Jokes aside we put the 10 fertilized eggs in the coop and watched as Maude followed her natural instincts.

chickenbutts

Three precarious weeks later, signs of new life began chirping from the coop! In the melee that is the birthing process, we were blessed with 3 healthy chicks. Maude was 3 for 10, in baseball that’s a great day at the plate, and more importantly less wrenches on mine! In all we had 4 duds that didn’t break through the shell and 3 casualties of this ole thing called life. So now we wait, hope, that these 3 are females but more importantly it was just nice to see Maude not thrown into some cage and forced out of her broodiness.

Looking back on our broody experience we’ve come to see, (reluctantly), that Amazon is awesome! In all seriousness though it’s amazing what you can learn in 21 days. By following Maude on her first experience into motherhood, I’ve gained some confidence in my own life, realizing that we all have the natural instincts to get by, no matter what life throws at you (especially with Amazon in your corner!). Without any experience, she knew exactly what to do from the get-go, from teaching them to eat to jumping into the coop. Going forward we’ll play it by ear on whether we’ll order some more fertilized eggs or go back to the ole poking method. Like Maude, we’ll take it in stride.

Maude&chicksMaude and her Three babies.

 

Works Cited:

“Broody.” Def. 1. Oxford Dictionaries. N.p., n.d. Web. 6 July 2017.

Coop, The Happy Chicken. “6 Easy Ways to Break a Broody Hen.” The Happy Chicken Coop. N.p., 14 June 2016. Web. 06 July 2017.

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