Sunday, October 8, 2017

Broody Penny

We have a very broody hen on our hands. She thinks she should be sitting on eggs right now and is absolutely steadfast. We are unable to convince her that, in fact, the eggs she is sitting on are not fertile (when she is sitting on any eggs at all) and her time in that nesting box is completely wasted. She protests very, very loudly when she is evicted from said nesting box, and will rush back up to it as soon as she can.

Today we decided to remove broody Henny Penny from the chicken coop completely and let her spend the day in the garden. She was very well supervised and tended to, with fresh water in every bucket and container the kids could find, and with tender greens and captured bugs offered to her at every turn.

She was not happy. She was not deterred.

She spent about 20 minutes in the garden, then decided she'd better be gettin' back to her nest and she flew right over the fence.

She then found her way straight back to the chicken coop and spent the rest of the afternoon foraging on the outside of the chicken run (much to her sisters' chagrin) and trying to figure a way back in.

And that is where we left her, hoping the fresh air and physical barrier would break her of her drive to sit, sit, sit.


After dark I went out with my flashlight to find her and put her on a roosting bar... and I couldn't. I searched under all the trees and in all the brambles and up on the compost walls and in between all the pallets leaning on the back side of the garden shed... and no Penny hen. I did, however, startle a big opossum, and I began to think I sentenced Penny to her doom leaving her out of her coop for so long. Quite frankly I felt like chicken poop.

Then I flashed my light into the coop, and poking her head out of her favorite nesting box was Penny, nestled and victorious and somehow right back in her spot.

I shook my head, I turned off my light, and I left her there.

She may be wasting her time, and her efforts to hatch her sister's infertile eggs may be futile, but dammit, she has earned her right to try.

I can't believe she found a way back despite it all.

Nice job, Penny. For what it's worth, you'd make a great mama...

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