When we stopped getting eggs a few weeks ago, I thought the hens might be laying somewhere in the barn, but I couldn’t them anywhere.
A couple of days ago, I noticed that Brown Hen wasn’t hanging around with the other hens. She didn’t even come to the porch when I fed the cats in the afternoon. And the next morning she was out pecking at the cat food before I had opened the coop.
So I knew she had spent the day and night sitting on a clutch of eggs somewhere on the farm.
Later that afternoon, when I saw White Hen peering down the long space between the barn wall and the hay bale, even though I couldn’t make Brown Hen out in the darkness, I knew she was there.
Since we don’t have a rooster, I didn’t have to worry about the eggs being fertilized, but a broody hen will often not come off the nest for days. Which means she is eating and drinking very little or not at all.
When the hens lay in the coop, I collect the eggs so they don’t have them to try and hatch. But when they get the urge, because of hormones, instinct, or a change in light such as the days getting shorter as they are now, a hen might become broody. And like Brown Hen, lay eggs with the intention of hatching them, fertilized or not.
After Brown Hen left the eggs, I put them in a bucket and carried them out into the woods. I left them in a clearing alongside a deer trail. I’m hoping they’re still good enough for an animal to eat.
Fate is very aware of them. On our way back from our walk in the woods she ran over to them and sniffed each one as if counting them. We’ll check on them tomorrow and see if anyone found them a good meal.
One thought on “Broody Brown Hen”
To bad I couldn’t share some of our duck eggs with brown hen. We have a hen that has hatched out duck eggs for us and it is so fun to see them walking on the farm behind that hen. This year she did not have to do it, Mrs. Duck hatched out 13 eggs!
Wow Marsha, that’s a lot of babies! How sweet it must have been to see them all growing up. Brown Hen would be very happy on your farm hatching duck eggs!