Tuesday, 27 January 2009

It's a "broody" thing

“In the midst of winter, I finally learned that there was in me an invincible summer.” so Albert Camus wrote.

"In the midst of winter, I instantly decided to become broody." so Harriet decided!

Bugger. Of course silkies have the best or worst ability deciding on your point of view in providing random egg production or organic incubation needs. Harriet had a profound realisation the she wanted to hatch some eggs.

This was a complete surprise and discovered when she didn't appear for corn in the afternoon - a quick glimpse into the nestbox revealed the following photo as Harriet as a closet broody

"No, I'm not broody, it's the way I'm sitting"
Further investigation managed to expose the fact that Harriet was also coveting the eggs of others - the sin of it! Indeed egg production by Cybil and Margot had been encapsulated for incubation however the lack of a good cock renders all eggs infertile so why the broody behaviour?

"Well I might have a mucky crest but I look cute as a broody"
Who knows, however we have been fanatically collecting eggs and as Harriet became broody she stopped laying so most of the time she has not a lot to sit on however another problem arose. As Harriet began to take over the complete nest box Margot became very, very vocal as she needed to find somewhere to lay an egg.
When this happened at 7.30am I can tell you Margot was moments away from a "sage and onion stuffing gas mark 6" episode. In truth not her fault as no where to lay an egg as Harriet was hogging all nest space!
So we built a nestbox, placed it at the highest point of the new run, Sir Norman Foster would be proud!
The idea was that as silkies are not flighted (due to their feather structure they cannot fly) we could provide a place where the other chickens could lay without Harriet instantly incubating their eggs.
Sky Palace Nest Box
As with any modern architectural design, the locals may not be that impressed.........
"Bugger off, I'm not living in a hi-rise"
So, where are we now?
The Skyline nestbox is working - despite the initial worries that it may be inaccessible we retrieved two, yes 2, eggs from there today
Harriet is now having aversion therapy to broodiness, it's not working at present but as the other girls have found a place to lay eggs without harassment from a manic broody silkie bantam she may find it difficult brooding straw!
However, she is the most gorgeous little broody hen
And just to prove this isn't ALL about Harriet, a quick shot of Ruby who's looking lovely at the moment and her first egg must be soon!

No comments: