For those of you that have been following along for the past months, you know that last year I had a broody chicken and that I spent A LOT of time talking/writing about her. This, because it was my first year with chickens, although I have a feeling that I will always talk a lot about chickens, and because I was learning so much from such small animals. So, what am I getting at? Last week I noticed that Julie wasn’t coming out in the morning to eat with the other birds, this isn’t out of the ordinary as she is a consistent morning egg layer and breakfast may have been occurring at that same time. It was after I went to collect eggs and she may a very distinct “chucking” sound when I opened the egg door. There she was, puffy, wings set wide, legs supporting her from the outer part of her body rather than under her, comb looking white on the tips, it was true she is broody already/again. To make sure, without a doubt, I reached under her and yes folks her stomach is bald…
TIME FOR A PICTURE TIME-OUT TO GET A BETTER UNDERSTANDING OF WHAT I’M DESCRIBING.
This is Julie a couple months ago, her comb and beard were quite red and she was laying regularly. The next couple photos compare some comb colors for those of you that may not know exactly what I’m talking about.
This was taken when Sanders was just finishing her first molt and she wasn’t laying yet. As Julie’s broodiness goes on her comb and beard will look like this.
It is only March, which in some places means there are cherry blossoms in bloom, daffodils and asparagus coming up, and the weather actually gets above freezing; in Minnesota, March means it is still below freezing out but simply above zero and the sun shines a little more. It seems crazy that this would be a time of year for her want to hatch eggs, but it takes three weeks for the eggs to hatch and then a minimum of five weeks for all the feathers to come in and the chicks to be pushed away by their mother. That is about eight weeks, which would make it the middle of May if Julie were actually to hatch anything from the time she first started to brood. Her biological clock is actually really awesome.
Maybe I’ll lose my mind again and let her hatch some fertilized eggs, until then, she can sit on nothing. I wonder what she thinks about all day?…
I’ll keep you all posted on how things unfold and I promise this won’t become the “broody chicken blog”