Saturday, July 24

B is for...

Broody Hens - Bev & Mabel! (Updated)


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"A Royal Commission is a broody hen sitting on a china egg."

Michael Foot


A few days ago a couple of our hens started clucking loudly and did not want to venture out into the garden. Later we discovered they were sitting on some eggs inside the henhouse. As we do not have a cockerel the eggs are not fertilized and so will not produce any form of life – try telling that to Mabel and Bev! They decided to make their “nest” at the back of the henhouse and when anybody goes anywhere near them they become agitated and puff themselves up in an effort to appear the tough gals they are to fend off unwelcome interest!

Now as we do not want any chicks (been there, done that) we have to discourage them from sitting. They have become rather touchy and will not let the other hens anywhere near the nesting spot. The hens tend to lay the eggs together so now they have decided they are going to sit the other hens stopped laying!

We moved the remaining hens into the newly furbished goose hut and thankfully their abundant laying has resumed.

One day last week Mabel and Bev left their nesting spot to venture out for some food. I quickly took away the eggs and shut the henhouse door. They seemed to be okay to start with – then I noticed Bev sitting in the middle of the paddock making a loud clucking sound. I could not see Mabel anywhere and then I spotted her – sitting on the roof of the henhouse!

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It was obvious she was trying to still connect with the non existent eggs and was prepared to sit there for some time.

Eventually I opened the henhouse door and within seconds she jumped down and made her way inside!

Talking to our neighbours last Friday - who also keep chickens we discovered they have some eggs they want hatching so Saturday afternoon Mabel and Bev left for a short vacation, being transported under the arms of hubby & neighbour. They are now housed in a coop with some fertile eggs for company! Will keep you updated on the progress!


Sunday morning!
The girls have settled down and are so contented on their eggs over at the neighbours!
Mabel -


Bev -


They are together in the coop, sheltered and safe.


Will keep you posted!
Update - Tuesday!

A few minutes ago I popped over to see the gals and take a photo just for ABc Wednesday....notice anything different? Yes they have swapped places! Wonder how and why this occurred?




This is their luxury accomodation. They are currently in the back of the coop where they have fresh water and food each day. Eventually they will wander into the enclosed netted area hopefully with some chicks - time will tell!

66 comments:

  1. what a marvelous story you've shared! do hens become attached to their eggs, knowing that, in time they will produce a chick?
    obviously there is a lot this city girl doesn't know :)

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  2. Sheri,
    If the eggs are fertile after about 3 week incubation time chicks will be produced. It was all new to us many years ago too! Life is all about learning new stuff isn't it?

    Dx

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  3. Oh love it Denise! We put some pheasant eggs under a bantam a few years ago. Now the farmer puts any broody hen into what he calls the sin bin - as we too have no cockerel. Would love chicks, though but the matter is open for negotiation as are other hennish matters!

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  4. Weaver,
    next couple of days will tell! Love the name "sin bin" lol!

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  5. cute story, love the image!
    ;)

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  6. Good for Mabel and Bev that they get to raise som chicks :)

    Cute pictures :)

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  7. Jingle
    Thanks

    cat -
    We will know within the next couple of days if they are going to be successful!

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  8. What a neat tale you've shared with us....me being a farmer's daughter [long ago]...I loved reading. But most of all, I LOVE their names!!!

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  9. I think you may have ticked your hens off. Happily you have come up with a solution. :)

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  10. I'm an ignorant city girl too. this is fascinating. I'm glad there was an alternative for the "brooding" hens.
    Eagerly awaiting the blessed event.

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  11. 2 of my girls are broody and we don't have roosters either. Thanks to your post I'm going to get some fertile eggs and put them to good use. :)

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  12. I had no idea that hens could be so complicated! Proper little characters aren't they?

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  13. Glad Mabel and Bev can have their nesting instincts taken care of looking forward to seeing the chicks. My nesting instincts say I want a kitten but after the last one the boss says no more. I'm still working on him.

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  14. LOL! I thought that said BLOODY hens at first!!!!

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  15. Now I learned something totally new! Thanks for sharing this amazing story, loved it!

    And thanks for your sweet words on my "back" post! :o)

    Kisses and love from us.

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  16. Sunday update

    gals are still sitting, nice and quietly!

    Bless!

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  17. What a delightfully funny story! I am so glad that Mabel and Bev have a useful assignment now!
    Can't wait to hear what happens!
    Best wishes,
    Anna

    Anna's CameraCritters

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  18. Glad the girls got some real eggs to sit on! Great story!

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  19. what good little mama hens.

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  20. I am just wondering how long they would have sat on the unfertilized eggs. Thats a great story. So I guess Bev n Mabels..biological clock is ticking away. Hmmmm very interesting. Keep us posted on the outcome.

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  21. AW ... what good girlies! And how lovely to see them sitting on their nice clean straw (wood wool?) doing what hens do best!

    I'd like to keep hens, just for their funny personalities and soothing clucking, but being allergic to feathers, it ain't a good idea. :(

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  22. I'm glad Mabel and Bev have some eggs to sit on. :)

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  23. Just finished going through this with my hens too. I did let one Bantam Silkie set on 4 eggs, just because I love Silkies, and she did hatch out all 4 at different days. BUT after hatching she refused to keep them warm, and I didn't make it in time to take them away from her. I was able to save the 4th, Tweetie, and he/she is doing just fine in our basement with a 250 watt light keeping her warm and raising my electric bill! LOL Gotta love it. If you check my blog from last Thursday you can meet Tweetie.
    Sure you can use my picture of the Touch Me Not flower, and thanks for stopping by.
    B.

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  24. My friends Orphington got broody so she bought some fertilized eggs via ebay - sadly the eggs got delayed in the post and those poor hens sat and sat and nothing happened so another friend of ours brought her over some freshly laid fertilized ones - now hatched and running around the garden until we figure out which are roosters.

    Hopefully it won't be too long before they start laying for you again.

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  25. Cute story. I hope Mabel and Bev get their babies hatched. lol

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  26. lovely photos and sweet post.

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  27. What beautiful and clever girls you have! And so convenient that their talents are being put to good use. I love your photos.

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  28. Oh, pretty cool photos of those critters...The eyes look pretty interesting.

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  29. Cute story, I hope Bev and Mabel enjoy their broods! I love the little A-frame hen house and run, it fits the yard so well!

    Thanks for the visit!

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  30. Oh I do hope your broody lovelies will have a happy & successful hatching. I've just experienced my very first natural hatching courtesy of a posse of fiercely broody bantam ladies - AWESOME! Good luck xx

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  31. Oh, what a nice story. I can't wait to see them strutting around with the little chicks.

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  32. Great stories about the broody hen and wonderful photographs. I enjoyed your post very much.

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  33. What a fun post! Love the broody hens! Terrific photos! Hope your week is off to a great start, Denise! Enjoy!

    Sylvia

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  34. Your broody hens are really marvellous. I love the story about them! I am looking forward to reading the next episode.
    Dear Denise, thank you so much for the award! It was an unexpected surprise!

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  35. What a marvelous photo essay of the travails of Bev and Mabel, Denise.
    Do Royal Commissions often end up with "egg on their face"?
    The Brill Award to Bev and Mabel!

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  36. This is too funny for words! Keep us posted! :D

    word verification: gickle

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  37. Talk about birdbrains!

    What a hoot!

    ROG, ABC Wednesday team

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  38. When I was a kid, we had chickens and geese. One year one of our geese did the same thing - sat for weeks on an unfertilized egg. My mom went and purchased a goose chick. When the goose got up to eat, my mom took the egg and put the chick in the nest. Amazingly, the goose never questioned it and adopted the baby as her own!

    Have a good rest of the week!

    Hood Photo Blog

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  39. lovely photos.. u caught the henny story on film :D good one!

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  40. Love your blog - I found it by chance and Im hooked - Im near Bridlington so its great to see landscapes I know through someone elses eyes. Good luck with your broodys, I have a Wyandotte that will sit on a fallen apple if you dont stop her!

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  41. I can't think of anything else to say but aaaaaaaahhhhhhh..., how sweet!

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  42. I do like a story with a happy ending. Clucking away contented maybe the chicks will appear in time for next week's ABC:-)
    Joy, ABC Team

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  43. Lucky hens! To have such caring humans to understand their drive and need to nest! Do keep us posted!

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  44. Interesting brooding tale! I know little about chicken critters so I'm learning...

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  45. This pictorial stroll through Bev and Mabel's world made me smile, darn near all the way through it. Well done. I love it! I hope they do well at the neighbor's place. Give 'em a couple of loud clucks for me.
    ~Brenda

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  46. It's great that you and your neighbors were able to help each other out. Or that your neighbors were able to help your fretful hens out, lol. :)

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  47. I am still laughing about your story ! Your hens have a real pronounced motherly instinct ! You should open a new business "renting broody hens" 15 £/day. lol ! Makes you some pocket money !

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  48. Thank you for your comment, nice pictures you got there :)

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  49. Bless their hearts. What a brilliant story Denise. shall be interested to hear the sequel. A x

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  50. Awesome posts with wonderful photos of the couple!

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  51. Who knew life with hens could be filled with such drama? :-) Sweet, funny and interesting!

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  52. Oh, this is a terrific story and I can't wait to find out what happens next!

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  53. this has been the strangest day. I am over at flicker looking up stuff. I love to draw hens so I looked up broody hens (i have a blogger friend that was raising them and has beautiful photos) and then I got the idea to look up tractor images. The first ABC blog I go to is showcasing a tractor for the word beep beep ..the sound they do when they back up. So this was fun. Fun to see your broody.

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  54. Tough enough to answer "Why did the chicken cross the road"... and now you want to add "Why did the hens switch places"? Because they could!

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  55. Oh, those girls!! You made my day with the tales of their antics and the photos to prove it. You are indeed unique, Denise, in your kind care of your menagerie and your love for all living things.
    hugs to you and the girls.

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  56. I occasionally tell the hub that we should have chickens - usually when we've gone to the feed store to get birdseed. He doesn't agree with me. Truth be told, I'm pretty sure the dogs and cat would think we got chicks for their amusement. I love the idea of chickens, (free manure for my flowerbeds), but I suspect I would grow weary of the maintenance.

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  57. Awww, so that's where the phrase "mother hen" originates from? They have such a strong mothering instict! What a beautiful tale, and hopefully, with a great happy ending to come, too! I loved this post (grin).

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  58. Love the closeup shots.

    On behalf of the ABC Wed. team, thanks for participating.

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  59. cute hens,
    sharp shots and cute thoughts.

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Thank you for your comments, always nice to know somebody has taken the time to let me know what they think.

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