Around this time last year, Mrs Mills (one of our hens) disappeared for a while and we suspected she might have fallen foul of a predator. However, she’d just gone broody and nested under a bush. She produced 13 chickens and raised them to maturity. Very impressive.
Well, this year, one of those thirteen decided to follow suit. She wasn’t able to disappear as we have, by and large, hen proofed their run. It’s not actually hen proof as a neighbouring hen regularly pops in for some extra food. But we’ve done enough to make it too much trouble to leave.
So, anyway, Pepper chose to go broody in one of the hen houses. We found this out when trying to collect eggs. The other hens also found out and stopped laying in that house. Broody hens are best avoided!
We’re quite pleased to get the odd broody hen as it means we have young hens coming in and there’s no need to merge them, they are part of the flock from the moment they’re born. Mind you, we don’t really need too many more hens as we are struggling to keep up with the eggs as it is.
Anyway, how many eggs we wondered? We left her in peace and even when she popped out for the odd snack, we didn’t look so as not to disturb her.
Finally, a couple of days ago, we heard the “cheep cheep” of a chick. They’d hatched. They? Well, one chick was wandering around. It turns out she sat on two eggs one of which sadly didn’t make it.
So, we have one little chick out exploring the run with her mum. And she has certainly picked a period of fine weather to join us.
I say “she”, more in hope than knowledge.