Why the chicken coop was invented, and thoughts on brooding.
Yesterday hen #3 was still brooding. She sat all day and all night thinking private thoughts. She didn't get off the nest at all unless I carefully lifted her off (there were eggs tucked right up in her armpits under her wings) and placed her in front of food and water.
She sat in the rain, she sat in the dark, she sat in the wind.
I am sure it was a lost cause, because during the time she was laying these eggs our rooster Valentino, liked by nobody, was limping and unable to do a rooster's job. Still, here she was with about fifteen hoarded eggs and she sat on them for at least two weeks, getting thinner and thinner but no less devoted.
Some time last night the raccoons got to her hideout and smashed or carried away 11 of her fifteen eggs.
I told her it wasn't safe out there, but she didn't listen.
However, on the bright side, this brutal act has broken her brooding. She's now out scratching around for worms as if none of this ever happened.
There are excellent lessons to be learned here.
- Being plucked off the nest to eat and drink is a good thing.
- When the eggs are broken, move on.
- Brooding over your precious eggs may be good, but eating bugs is even better.
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