Many of you will know that our chook house is called Cluckingham Palace. My son Ben and I built it a few years ago with a bit of help from Kim.
Over the last few weeks, I believe that it is a most apt name. Kim has named some of them the Broody Bunch for a very good reason!
So lets catch them in the act, shall we. As I slowly lift the lid on the nesting box, loud clucking and squawking emanates from within. They are not very happy to see me.
Now if I have told them once, I have told them at least 21 times, ONE clucky chook per nesting box! Why don’t they listen?
You can see that the two leghorns and a single ISA brown are all trying to squeeze into a single nesting box to lay on imaginary eggs. This is the first time I have seen an ISA Brown get clucky. I didn’t think it was in their DNA, but this one proved me wrong.
I have been collecting the eggs daily in a feeble attempt to discourage their broodiness. It is not working.
I learnt long ago to not worry about trying to break the broody cycle and just let nature get on with the job. When they are hungry, they eat. When thirsty, they drink. No big deal.
As well as these three girls, we have another broody pint sized girl, who has been sitting for about the same amount of time. Jane, the Pekin Bantam has been at it for about 10 days. How do I know this? Well yesterday I liberated nine large ISA brown eggs from underneath her fluffy bum! Obviously they were not her eggs, but those of Edwina II who she shares the run with.
Once retrieved, I tested the eggs with the float method, I gave the older, vertical floating eggs to the dogs, and kept the fresher eggs for us.
What is the float method I hear you ask? Well, here is a graphic that explains it all. I use this test when I am uncertain about the eggs age.
Just use fresh, cool water in a sink which is much better than a bucket, and easier. By the way, the horizontal floaters really stink! Rotten egg gas galore.
Due to the Broody Bunch, egg production is down, but the remainder of the flock are still laying enough to keep us in wholesome food. They will all snap out of it soon enough, especially as I keep taking the eggs. I just keep an eye on the girls, turfing them out of the nesting boxes if I think they need something to eat or drink when it is hot.
Chickens will be chickens I suppose.
Who else has clucky chooks at the moment? Do you try and break the cycle or just leave them be?