Saturday, 24 May 2008

Frustrated chickens

Scarlett is turning broody.For the last week (?) she's been staying in the nestbox even after she's laid an egg.

The Girls get themselves up at 5am or 5.30 am, and Scarlett seems to disappear into the nestbox fairly early - and she's still in there at 9, 9.30 etc. The first couple of days she did this, I found that she was sitting on two eggs (hers and Delilah's). She wasn't belligerent, so I just took her out of the nest box.

But it's been getting worse. A few days ago she was in there for ages, but there was no egg. Poor Delilah gets very distressed on these occasions, as we now only have two chickens. This means she ends up running around waiting for her friend to finish. So, we started to slip an icepack under Scarlett while she did this.

The first ice-pack day, she laid an egg and I felt very guilty.

The second icepack day she came out within minutes of me inserting the icepack underneath her, but she was very grumpy for the rest of the day, and eventually laid an egg.

Yesterday, she was out quickly after the ice pack, and was in a foul (fowl) mood all day, being very vociferous and wingey. She didn't lay.

This morning both girls started girl-crowing at 6.30am. Usually they each crow to announce the arrival of an egg, today they were at it simultaneously. And it went on. So I rushed outside in my dressing gown, and checked for eggs: none. Both girls were sitting on the highest perch in the Run, girl-crowing. Something had presumably upset them, but I couldn't see nay evidence of a fox or anything.

When I went into the Run to see if they were OK, Scarlett jumped onto the floor and ran around doing her panicking Chicken-Licken impersonation. In the end I had to bring out half a cauliflower to shut them up. I don't want to make a habit of that, as they will quickly learn that crowing results in food.

She's a little chicken but she makes such a noise!


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