The Cottage Smallholder


stumbling self sufficiency in a small space

Hope has finally gone broody

Tiny cockerel Beatyl with Paris in the foreground

Tiny cockerel Beatyl with Paris in the foreground

As you know our little silver laced Wyandotte bantam has been toying with the broody state for a few weeks. Over the past three days she has been holed up in the nesting box in the main chicken house. She is sitting on eggs but leaving the nest when I come into the pen to feed the the flock.

Yesterday we were running low on eggs so whilst she was out stretching her legs in the run, I grabbed the clutch that she’d been sitting on and sped away.

This morning I decided to make scrambled eggs on toast and discovered to my surprise that Beatyl out tiny cockerel had done his husbandly duty. Six out of eight eggs were fertilised.

But surely that’s the point of a cockerel? Yes it is but he’s so much smaller than most of the hens – there were fertilised eggs from the Junoesque Stepford Wives in the clutch. Hope is the only hen who would be a good match for him on the size front. I haven’t seen him covering Hope or any other hen this summer.

Danny was amazed by Beatyl’s prowess and sad to hear that the fertilised eggs had been wasted.
“Let’s give Hope a chance,” said Danny. “Let nature take its course, in the old fashioned way when eggs bought on eBay didn’t exist. Give her a few eggs to sit on.”

Later this morning I went down to the chicken run. Hope clearly had no intention of leaving her nest. I gave her food and water in the nesting box. In the dark chicken house I discovered another area where the rest of the hens have been laying eggs. Clearly not a single hen was happy to lay an egg beside the testy broody hen. Wearing my leather pruning gauntlets, I surreptitiously slipped a few more eggs into Hope’s nest.

Hope cannot stay in the nesting box as she will eventually put the rest of the flock off laying. The new chicken house is for the Pekins – it’s a perfect size and has a nesting box and perch. So I had a nose around on eBay and found this cute little field house which will make a great broody coop and/or a chicken sick bay. It’s always good to have a weather proof space where you can isolate a chicken comfortably.

So by next week our small chicken village will be complete. We are looking forward to the arrival of the young Pekins. And you never know, Hope might have a few cross breed chicks of her own in three weeks time.

 

 


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4 Comments

  1. 5olly

    Oh good luck!

  2. Veronica

    Ooh, fingers crossed for cute little chicks soon! Sounds promising.

  3. I love the sound of a chicken village 🙂

  4. Terrier

    Ooh good luck Fiona, I’m loving watching our little chick growing,in a way I’m glad we only got one hatched, as there’s no distractions.Now hoping it’s a male, so he can replace out cockerel who got ‘got’ by a fox last weekend

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