Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Broody hen in the cooler

My earlier plan to break my broody hen by locking her up with the rooster failed. I guess she was not sexy enough for him and he did not rise to the occasion.

My options were dunk the broody hen in cold water or to put her in a suspended cage to chill out. With the recent rain, I decided that the cage was a safer choice.

Locked the broody hen in a wire cage sitting on top of the wire tractor. This gave her nothing to stand on but wire and let the cold wind blow up her bottom. She was stressed by flock separation until they started climbing on the tractor. Once she was the center of attention, she proudly consumed her private bowl of oatmeal.

One hen that she had just kicked out of the nest got her revenge. She perched on the cage top and sat over the broody hen's head. Ah, the subtle pleasure of symbolic communication!

The broody hen was still interested in the nest box when I let her join the flock in the coop. She decided to roost instead when I threatened to make ugly faces at her, but I suspect she will be the nest tyrant by morning.

Try try again....

Update: She was on the nest in the morning. I put her in the "cooler" and the weather cooperated. Unfortunately, she did not cooperate at nightfall. When I let her out she went right back to the nest. Sticking with the plan....

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