4.26.2007

My Broody Girls



I’ve Got Sitters

I have two hens sitting on eggs right now. This lovely lady has at least 15 eggs under her. I haven’t been able to count them recently, because her beak is very sharp, and she has deadly aim when I try to reach under her to examine her clutch more closely.


This is Timmy. She’s also been very diligent about sitting on her eggs.


Sometimes someone sits on this nest, sometimes not, so I doubt any of these will hatch. It’s really my fault, because I moved a clutch of eggs out of the nesting boxes. This did not make the hen that was brooding over them very happy, and after that she became rather neglectful of them. I thought I was doing a good thing by fashioning a nest for them on the floor, since the nesting boxes are about 3 feet up and only shoebox-sized--which didn’t seem to me an ideal place to hatch a bunch of baby chicks. (But what do I know? Obviously, not much...now I know not to set about moving anyone’s eggs.)


The disadvantage of the tiny nesting boxes is that, well, they’re small, and the girls continue laying in them. Hence, some of the eggs do get broken. As you can see, here we have some egg on our face (as does Timmy, above).



Odo Shows His Tailfeathers

Last year the girls had pulled out all of Odo’s tail feathers. Isn't that a sad sight?


But just look at that iridescent green-black plumage now!


Chicken Feet

I have to show you these close-ups because birds really do have weirdly prehistoric feet.


Couldn’t you just as easily be standing under a dinosaur?


Until I had chickens, I thought they all had yellow legs. But nope, some of them are slate blue, like this Silver Spangled Hamburg's. (Others are speckled, some more cream-colored. Who knew?)


Bedtime Snacks

I usually give the birds a little cracked corn before I close them in the henhouse for the night. Here Buffy partakes of her snack. Notice that they even have dinosaur-like eyes! Different birds have different eye-colors, too.


Goldilocks (at right) is the one most likely to be caught trying to steal someone else’s food.


At left, a Silver Laced Wyandotte; at right, a Pearl White Leghorn. I like this picture because you can see the Leghorn's characteristically funny floppy comb.


This girl is Odo’s buddy, Kira. She’s one of our two Silver Spangled Hamburgs, and one of my favorites. They’re very small and dart around like road runners, so I’ve never gotten any decent pictures of them before. I love her little blue-green earlobes, and the thumbprint-like markings on her feathers.

15 comments:

Gattina said...

Shame on you to make a mess in hen's craddles ! Can't you leave the white shelled uterus(ses) alone ? I really like your pictures and the stories. Would never have thought that I would find chicken interesting ! The legs indeed look like from a Dino ! You should participate on Wordless Wednesday and just put in the chicken leggs !

jessie said...

Love the chicken pictures, of course, as well as the poultry lesson. In our emails I forgot to mention how I love the intense mood of a broody hen. Talk about single-minded! And the fact that she will make purring and clucking noises she has never made before.

My hand was bloody last year from removing eggs from under one broody hen. Other chickens were going in every day and laying their own (infertile) eggs in there, and she'd gain a dozen in a few days, so I had to take them out. Then she'd even hiss at me!
\

Puss-in-Boots said...

I like chooks. There's something very comforting and homely in the little noises they make when they're content. Of course, I like the fresh eggs, too.

Poor Odo, fancy losing his tail feathers to the ladies. That must have dented his pride. Just as well they grow back.

Beth said...

They are just the cutest things.
How can you get around eggs getting broken?
Thank s for the pics. You know I love the chicks.
(That's anice little poem I just came up with) hee

Chris said...

What fun pictures! So you soon could have chicks? How do the chicks get down the 3 feet from the box to the floor?!

Dawn said...

You have a roost full. We went to the flea market last Saturday and there was a young boy about 8 who had a full conversation with me about the roosters and hen that he had in a cage for sale. It was really cute.

Joanie said...

Could it be because of the human scent on the eggs the mommy chicken was no longer interested in the eggs? I love eating chicken but after seeing these wonderful pictures it is hard to enjoy the meal. I am sure if I lived on the farm I would probably eat more veggies then meat.

Enjoy your day. We have a day of heavy rain here in NY.

Dee said...

Poor Odo. He looked a little raggedy without his tail feathers.

I'll have to put up some of our feral chicken pictures on Eye Candy Friday one of these weeks.

KnitXcorE said...

Kira is gorgeous!!!!

RheLynn said...

Great meeting all your birdies!

Carrie K said...

Bad girls, pulling Odo's tailfeathers.

Tsk, tsk! Mom knows best!

pins&needles said...

So can Odo still shake his tail feathers? Or what he has left of them. The chickens are so cute! Your farm life is more intereseting that I could ever imagine farm life being. And those birds do look prehistoric in a way. Creepy.

I bet the hens don't like the smell of humans tainting the eggs and that's why she was so neglecting to the eggs. You were just trying to be thoughtful though.

BlackCrow said...

I have to tell you how fantastic these photo's are and they have been a great reference pix for chickens and backgrounds that I've been drawing for work...ha ha ha...see know I can read your blog at work while drawing chickens.

roxtarchic said...

agreed... kira IS gorgeous! and odo's feathers.. heheh... but i gotta tell ya.. the chicken feet... it's like seeing the turkeys (AGAIN) but *up close*
blllleechhh...

heheh... and thanks for thinking of me! btw.. the carrot story...
my sister & i decided we'd give my mom a GARDEN for mothers day... hahahahah... needless to say we realized we're city girls and had NO BUSINESS turning dirt... BUT we perservered (we're stubborn stock city grls) so... the carrots... hahahah... came out like ONIONS because we didnt turn the soil well enough or whatever we were s'posed to do to it... HAH... and they looked SO GOOD before we pulled em up & they were lil orange turds! hahahah

have a terrific day & i like cats on tuesday WAY better than turkey tuesday ;)

Mom Unplugged (formerly "Mom of 3") said...

I love the pictures! Odo certainly does have lovely tail feathers. What did he do to make the girls so mad as to pluck them out??

I have two cockatiels and marvel daily at the dinosaur resemblance!