Friday, November 5, 2010

Sleeping Broody

This morning, the spell was finally lifted.

Like Sleeping Beauty who came to life after a long sleep, our Black Silkie, also affectionately known as Black Broody, is done being all cooped up.

It’s awfully late in the season for chickens to be broody. Broodiness usually occurs in the spring when something goes haywire in a bird’s small brain and says, “I need to be a mother, damn it!” She stays in the coop basically all day, believing that she's going to hatch a chick any day now. It doesn't matter there's no rooster around. That hen believes she's going to have a chick.

And that will be the hen's commitment for the next five weeks or more until she wakes up one morning and thinks, “Well, that’s stupid. Screw motherhood. I need a maggot!”

In the meantime, everyone suffers. The other hens can’t get into the coop because Black Broody is crazy, and she’s totally egg-less during her false motherhood.

This is the second time that Black Broody has gone, well, broody. The first time happened a few months back when the only time I saw her out of the coop was when I shooed her out and told her to stop making a honest hen of herself.When I suspected she had gone broody, I consulted my Keeping Chickens book where it said that the Black Silkie will produce an average of “105 eggs before going broody.”

Oh, that’s what happened.

But now I know and, more importantly, know what to expect. Broodiness is no fun for the, um, brood and certainly no fun for the hen who cannot hatch chicks. It seems awfully cruel.

But that’s all behind us know. Black Broody is back. And in a good way.

Now lay me some eggs!

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