When last we left Idee, on day 16, she was running around the coop, off her eggs.
The other hens were trying to get her goose, but she was holding her own.
I was in a state, searching the chicken forums for what to do. Should I put her in the dog crate with the nest of eggs and food and water and keep her in lockdown for the next five days until hatch day? Would she sit back on the nest? Maybe the eggs weren’t going to hatch, and Idee, in her instinctive wisdom, knew it was a lost cause.
With extraordinary effort, I got out the big, wire dog crate, which was way back behind two black walnut and one cherry tree’s worth of milled timber, washed all the dust off of it, put it in the sun to dry out, and got ready to move the whole shebang into the crate.
By which time, Idee was back on the nest.
“You are SUCH a human,” she said, with her eyes, or at least the one eye she was giving me.
I was too tired to pack the crate back up. Who knew, maybe I’d need it later. I kept a closer eye on the run to see if Idee was going to make a habit hanging out off the nest, or if it was a one-time thing.
I didn’t see her the rest of the day, but the next day she was back out there. I went into the coop to see what was up with the nest and to count the eggs because in my alarm I hadn’t done so the day before–I wanted to know if others had been laying their duds in with the fertile eggs.
Smack on top of the eggs sat one of our Eggers, Brownie, in laying mode.
Not good. If you’ve ever seen the moment when a chicken lays an egg, you know they don’t do it sitting down. They are standing up and the egg falls the short distance to the surface of the nest, thud–one reason soft nesting material is a good thing. On top of 12 eggs (there were only twelve, I counted) it might be more of a crack than a thud, and nobody wants that.
Chickens are monkey see, monkey do creatures. When you want them to lay eggs in a certain place, the common practice is to put fake eggs, even egg-like objects such as golf balls in the spot where you want them to lay. Seeing a full clutch of a dozen eggs sitting there, this Egger was irresistibly drawn to add hers to the consensus.
I didn’t know what to do. I stood there, aghast, hands on hips. In a funny way, it almost looked as though Idee had arranged for an egg-sitter to keep her babies warm while she ran out for a while, but I knew this could end badly.
We stared at each other.
I told her no, but she didn’t listen. I made shooing motions with my hands, but besides appreciating the breeze, it had no effect.
I could carry her off the eggs, but would she keep moving back? Had Idee left for good this time? Was Brownie the new mom? Brownie had never been broody before, and Easter Eggers aren’t known for their broodiness. Had she already laid an egg? Had she cracked some of the precious hatching eggs?
Losing patience with Ashley. Lance is twice the guy Brandon will ever be.