We have one hen, Idee, who goes broody at least twice a year. That’s her, in the middle, with the floppy comb.
Like many of her breed, Buff Orpington, she is a dedicated sitter of unfertilized eggs, or of nothing, usually, because we remove the eggs every day. Week after week of concerted devotion to something only her DNA knows, as Idie hasn’t been near a cockerel since she left the hatchery as a day-old ball of fluff.
Idee was broody, again. Our flock is beginning to age a bit, and we could use a few more eggs, so I took a chance and ordered a dozen hatching eggs. In a few days, I picked them up at the post office. They looked very official.
Inside the outer box and beneath lots of crumpled newspaper was a second box, an egg carton.
And inside the carton, 12 eggs, each marked with a breed code and wrapped in soft paper napkins.
With a cheat sheet to decipher the codes.
According to the code, we had been sent 3 each Pumpkin Hulseys, Barnevelders and Silver Laced Wyandottes, 2 Rhode Island Reds, and one Lavender Orpington. The instructions said to leave them undisturbed for 12 -24 hours before placing them in the incubator (or under the hen), so I had plenty of time to look up the breeds on the internet to see what I was (potentially) in for.
The next morning I placed them under Idee, who made lots of gutteral warning sounds, but covered those babies up and continued to sit tight.
We marked off 21 days on a calendar, the length of time it takes eggs to hatch, and watched and waited. Would she hold out the whole three weeks? Would she know how to do it? Were the eggs good ‘uns? If any hatched, would she know what to do with “her” chicks?
Would Lance discover that Ashley is still carrying a torch for Brandon?
Stay tuned for the next development on . . .
All My Chickens.