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Madd Mapp

Mapp has always been our most eccentric bird. Vocal. Excitable. Flappy. Chases dickie birds. Chases cats right out of the yard. She’d probably chase cars if she had the chance.

She didn’t start laying last Fall. She didn’t start laying right away in Spring. I always said if she ever laid an egg, she’d be a total drama queen.

Boy howdy. She laid four eggs and promptly went broody. X-treme broody.

“Broody” — for all three people out there not currently keeping chickens — is where chickens go to become mothers. They lay a clutch of eggs and then sit on them day and night for 22 days until they hatch. (Eggs don’t develop until warmed to hen temperature, so they all hatch the same time and same developmental age).

Frequently, though, a chicken will go broody without a clutch of eggs to sit on. And when that happens, how does she know when to stop? She doesn’t. Stupid chicken.

Pekin bantams are famous for going broody. Hard broody. People use them as incubators. Someone told us a horrible story about accidentally mowing his pet bantam to death because she was brooding in the high grass and wouldn’t get off the nest.

As of yesterday, Mapp has been broody for eight weeks. Just sits in the empty nest box all day. Shrieks and screams if anything goes near her.

Once or twice a day, I lift her off the nest and make her stretch her legs and eat something. She sits immobile in the grass for a few minutes, then shakes herself off and develops a kind of chicken Tourette’s.

“NARRRGH!”

“Mnyeh!

“EEEEEEEEEEERch!”

Which I guess is chicken for “titties!” “pee!” “assholes”

Then she eats something and goes back on the nest.

I think that hen needs a good mow.

sock it to me

June 15, 2011 — 9:36 pm
Comments: 23