Long before Spring actually arrived, the little red frizzle hen was broody. She sits in the nest box on an absconded egg for 23.99 hours a day, the other .1 hour is spend dashing outside to eat, deposit a big, smelly pooh, getting a quick drink then back on the nest in case some other hen might get the same idea.
Then I come along and rudely yank the egg right out from under her, and she would patrol the nest boxes for another egg that needed to be kept warm.
Last year she successfully raised three foster chicks for my sister and was very happy.
Every year I get 3 or 4 new pullets to replace the hens I inevitably lose through the year and to keep eggs flowing into the winter months. I wanted more Blue Wyandott's to replace my beautiful Blue who died unexpectedly this winter.
I was going to be in Sioux City on April 12 so thought I would go to my niece, Carri's, Bomgaars because they always have a great selection of chicks but first I had to see if I could move the little red hen and not have her lose her broodyness. I put the red cat carrier in the blue jay cage, bedded it, put food and water, it was ready. The little red hen screeched and squawked as I removed her from the current egg she was keeping warm and plunked her down inside the carrier. Before I was out of the gate, she was down the ramp and heading for the door. I fought her off and got out of the gate alone. All day she paced the fence, voicing her displeasure at the turn of events, she was one unhappy little hen. I decided to give her an egg to see if that would calm her down because it was only going to be a few days before she would have her own family. I thought I gave her a big egg because I knew it wouldn't be fertile, the little roosters and the big hens plumbing don't match up.
I fought her off again as I went in the gate, she was bound and determined to go back to the chicken coop, there were eggs that needed sitting on! I put the egg in her nest, then caught the little red hen, she screeched and squawked and carried on as though I was taking her to her death. I gently placed her in the carrier where she could see the egg and she calmed down immediately. She fluffed out her ruffled skirts and slowly lowered herself over the egg, tucking straw and moving it around until she was satisfied.