Thursday, December 22, 2011

Don't count your chickens

On Monday night, 12 December, I put these 12 fertile eggs under one of our hens who had been spending most of the day sitting on the communal nest in the chook shed. It hasn't gone so well. At first, she didn't seem too pleased about being shut in a cage when her two friends were off free-ranging in the sun (and the pouring rain... not the brightest chooks). She was sitting on the eggs, but whenever I appeared in the shed she got off the eggs and squawked madly, most upset. Then she settled down happily spread out over the eggs for a few days.

Then one morning she flew out of the brooder box when I opened it to refresh the water. Had to catch her and put her back in. At that point I figured she was not so keen on being mother hen and kept a close eye on her to see that she was sitting on the eggs. Then she broke one of the eggs, and then another, which was difficult to clean up and the remaining eggs were looking pretty dirty. So last night I took the eggs, gently cleaned them and stuck them in an incubator borrowed from our neighbour Nigel. I don't hold out a lot of hope that any will hatch given the bumpy ride so far, but I'll keep turning them a couple of times a day just in case.


  1. im not having much luck with my chooks either at the moment.
    Of the 5 original ones i had 4 are broody and the other one although it roams around during the day will not lay eggs. The 5 newer ones, which have their own separate chook shed have now gone stupid too and im only getting 2 eggs a day from them. Before i had so many eggs i didnt know what to do with them all and now im running out!

  2. Sounds like you've got the opposite problem to me Jo! Well, we have fewer eggs at the moment too because I saved up a bunch to put under the broody before swapping them out for the fertile ones, and then there were only 2 laying. I know the breed of chooks I have are not known for being broody or good mothers. People keep telling me to get a silkie to sit on the eggs, but I don't think one of those would survive ten minutes up here in the wilds!

  3. But the silky would be inside on the eggs?

  4. my friend got 5 from the same person as me at the same time, and one of hers died, but she is still getting 4 eggs a day out of her 4 chooks. i wonder if mine have gone out in sympathy of the other silly older ones!

    Love the blog, Merry Christmas to you both