Sitting Mamas

We have five hens “sitting.”  They’ve decided they’d rather hatch eggs than lay them.

SAMSUNG

SAMSUNG

If things go as they should (and they never exactly do) we will have a lot of little chicks on the farm over the next few weeks.

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8 comments on “Sitting Mamas

  1. We are in the same boat. Three of our hens have gone broody and, as a result, our egg supply is dwindling. Sadly, two of the three weren’t even sitting on anything…just sitting. I grabbed a couple of eggs out of our incubator and stuffed them under the broody gals to justify their idleness. Thanks for letting us know it’s not just our girls who are on strike!

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    • Bill says:

      Our egg supply is way down as a result. We didn’t even take any to the farmer’s market today. I just wish ours would do it right. They insist on sitting in the nesting boxes, and when they leave the nest they often come back and sit on the wrong eggs. I moved one to a brooder coop, but the others refuse to participate. It works so much better if they just make a nest in a shed or in the woods and come back once they’ve hatched the chicks. Hopefully they’ll be done with this soon and we’ll have a lot new chicks to boot.

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  2. shoreacres says:

    I’m just laughing at the thought of those hens who decided to just sit for no particular reason. If I thought I could get away with it, I’d try the same thing, but I guess I’d better try and stay productive.

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    • Bill says:

      They’re hoping to hatch some eggs. I don’t mind them sitting, in fact I want them to, as long as they follow through and hatch the chicks. 🙂

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  3. El Guapo says:

    Do they lay new eggs while they’re sitting on these?

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    • Bill says:

      No. Once they have a clutch of eggs (and it doesn’t matter if they laid them or not–in fact, they’re happy sitting on golf balls) they stop laying and just hunker down on the eggs. It takes 21 days for them to hatch and during that time the hen will rarely leave the nest. They eat and drink almost nothing during that time. The lose the feathers on their breasts, so their body heat will warm the eggs. They are single-minded when they’re sitting.

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  4. Sophie says:

    What a gorgeous girl. There’s something about the hens on your farm that is so satisfying to see.

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    • Bill says:

      Thanks Sophie. She was hatched on this farm and is a mixed breed, which accounts for her unusual coloration (white with a few black dots). When hens go broody they undergo a significant personality change. Instead of being easily-frightened and flighty, they become fierce and determined. They will growl and peck at anyone who comes too close to the nest. Hoping she hatches a bunch of chicks…

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