Be Careful …..

My Buff Orpington hens are going on seven years old now….definitely geriatric.  One of them has ALWAYS been broody (she will sit in a nest box for days on end trying to hatch eggs that may not even be there.)  So when my Blue Splash Maran hen turned out to be a rooster, I decided to take advantage of the broodiness.  I took six newly laid eggs (I had seen that the rooster had been VERY active in the preceding days…..) and placed them under my broody.

And then waited.  Eggs take about 21 days to mature to hatching.  Broody faithfully sat on them day and night, taking only a 5-10 minute break daily to eat, drink and poo. That is, faithfully until Wednesday (which was day 18) of this week.  I came home from choir practice to find the eggs unprotected and cool to touch (meaning she had been gone for quite awhile.) I looked into the coop….and there she was-snuggled up on the roost with the rest of flock-“her” eggs abandoned.

I gathered up the eggs and placed them in my incubator. Today is day 22-I am losing hope that the eggs survived, though candling them shows that they did develop.

And I envision the broody sitting on the eggs day after day…, brooding about how unfair it was that she had to sit there while all the other hens got to eat the wonderful freeze-dried worms and green papaya seeds that “mom” scattered for them.  “NOT FAIR!  that I have to sit here all alone while they can all cuddle together in the coop at night.”

Thus, my broody hen has become a metaphor for the old axiom: be careful what you wish for….you might get it!