This is my blog about the day to day lives of my little flock of pet chickens. They're a happy little flock, although they're totally crackers! If you want a laugh, they'll gladly give you one.


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Monday, 21 May 2012

Let battle commence!


The annual battle of wills between Tu-Tu and I has begun.   It goes something like this.

I open the gate to let everyone enjoy the pleasures of completely obliterating my garden.   I count them as they come out, only to discover that there are only 7 chickens.   There should be 8.   That's OK, one of them is probably laying an egg, even though it's a bit on the late side.

So who is missing?   There's Irene eating some corn, with Rebecca as close as she can get without actually touching her.  Pom-Pom is standing on my foot, Fizz is showing Punk where there's a nice piece of ...... what on earth is that!   Titian is filling me in on the latest news, while Maggie is mowing the lawn as fast as she can get the green stuff into her beak.

So that just leaves Tu-Tu;  I might have guessed.

I know exactly where to find her, so off I go to the chicken coop and open up the lid of the nestbox area.   A pretty little lavender face looks up.   If it's possible for a chicken to give you a sweet, innocent smile, this wily old Pekin does just that.

She knows perfectly well that she's sitting on some eggs that the other girls have kindly laid for her.  The trouble is, I know it too.   I reach under her and, sure enough, there are indeed eggs - three of them to be precise.  I manage to curl my fingers round two of them, the third rolling out from beneath Tu-Tu's hot little chest.   Tu-Tu rolls the wayward egg straight back underneath her.   I finally retrieve the third egg and put all of them safely in my little plastic box.

Next, it's Tu-Tu's turn to be retrieved.   I lift her out of the nestbox, request the pleasure of her company in the garden and put her down.   She looks grumpy, right until the moment she spots that there's corn to be had;  then she takes off like a bat out of hell and gets stuck into it.

So today, my plan has worked.   But Tu-Tu and I went through all this palaver last Spring and the Summer before that.   In truth, I know as well as she does that she'll win in the end.   The time will come when, no matter what treats I tempt her with, she will go straight back to the nestbox.

The first year it happened, we got fertile Araucana eggs for her.  Last year we rather hoped that Fizz had done his duty and so we allowed her to sit on some of her friends' eggs.   Even though Maggie joined in and 'helped', not one egg hatched.

Tu-Tu is the oldest of our chickens.  We're not sure just how old she is, but she started laying eggs the day after we got her.  So she's no spring chicken (pun definitely intended).

So the question I have is this.  Do chickens go through menopause and, if they do, I wonder how long it will be before Tu-Tu goes through hers and loses interest in being broody.

Tu-Tu with her Araucana babies


callie brady said...

When my hens go broody I pen them away from the nest boxes with food and water until they give up... usually about 4 or so days. At first the hens are frantic, clucking, etc., but as the days go by they settle down, lose interest in setting and finally just want to get out of the pen and go look through the leaves for things to eat with the other hens. She sure is a pretty girl.

Chick Insanity said...

New to your blog but it's one of my favorites :D Love all the pictures!