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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.




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.


Comment from Ric Locke
Time: June 15, 2011, 10:33 pm

When I was a boy in east Texas we had a special name for broody hens.



Comment from porknbeasn
Time: June 15, 2011, 11:33 pm

Is there a rooster in your neighborhood?

Comment from Scubafreak
Time: June 15, 2011, 11:37 pm

Straight up, Pork. Mapp, in the immortal words of Orlando Jones, “Just needs a good Humpin'”……..

That or a flower bed of St Johns Wort she can raid……

Comment from Zippit T Doodah
Time: June 16, 2011, 12:00 am

Someone has to do it… She just neeeds to get laid. Or is it layed?

And, you know, that Weiner business? That was just the wurst.

Comment from Uncle Badger
Time: June 16, 2011, 12:08 am

I have considered chasing her around the garden with a packet of breadcumbs, in the hope she’ll take the hint.

Trouble is, I’m just too much if a softie.

Comment from JeffS
Time: June 16, 2011, 1:08 am

Not that I want to egg people on over this, you understand, but getting broody over a broody chicken is something to cluck about.

Comment from Nina from GCP
Time: June 16, 2011, 1:12 am

Yeah, I’m with the ‘needs to get laid’ camp. 🙂

Comment from porknbeasn
Time: June 16, 2011, 1:14 am

Laid, then let her hatch a few.

Comment from Oh Hell
Time: June 16, 2011, 1:16 am

Stick some duck eggs under her and let her hatch them. The ducklings will drive her even further over the edge…..

Comment from SCOTTtheBADGER
Time: June 16, 2011, 2:02 am

My word, what a great big body, and wee small head.

Comment from Argentium G. Tiger
Time: June 16, 2011, 2:09 am

We had a method of breaking a broody hen of her desire to do so, but it was a bit severe and probably isn’t your style. I’ll just leave it unmentioned (no, it wasn’t turning the chicken into pot-pie!)

I’ll just point you at this guy’s suggestion I found. It sounds pretty solid, and might work without distressing the hen.


Comment from Scubafreak
Time: June 16, 2011, 2:29 am

Maybe what MAPP needs is an evening out. You and UB could bring her into the house one evening, let her curl up in your lap with a bowl of buttered popcorn all to herself, and you can all watch the movie “CHICKEN RUN” together….. 😉

later on you could get her drunk and let her confess all her sins…. LOL

Comment from Deborah
Time: June 16, 2011, 3:54 am

@Argentium G. Tiger — it’s like Cool Hand Luke. But for hens. Sorta. It’s a failure to communicate.

Comment from S. Weasel
Time: June 16, 2011, 11:03 am

Yeah, Argentium, the Brit forums call that sin-binning a chicken. I didn’t do it because I don’t have a cage, wasn’t inclined to buy one…and, really, two hens laying is more than I need.

What I’m going to do when all four of the little buggers are in lay, I do not know.

Comment from Sporadic Small Arms Fire
Time: June 16, 2011, 3:00 pm

When all 4 cluckers will get broody, it will be a time to introduce a time limited scope limited kinetic action. Life handed you chickens, now squeeze some casserole, roast, rice soup, etc.

What you were really meant to have are peacocks. They sing beautifully, and are known to be very affectionate and trainable and love being petted. Huge market on discarded feathers and price of peacock egg futures is steadily climbing, yet far from peaking.

Peacocks, SWeasel. 3 regular rainbowy ones and 1 albino from the peacock shelter.

And do not let anybody talk you into cassowaries.
They are probably best left in Owsetralya.


Comment from Bob Mulroy
Time: June 16, 2011, 4:34 pm

I knew a fellow who had a lone muscovey hen. Every spring, she’d lay a clutch of sterile eggs, and sit on then until they rotted.

One spring, he went to the feed store, got her a muscovey duckling and just sneaked it into her pile.

She brooded that duckling to adulthood, and never laid another egg ever.

Comment from Can’t hark my cry
Time: June 16, 2011, 7:58 pm

Not to carp, Sporadic Small Arms Fire, but peacocks don’t lay eggs. . .

Comment from Sporadic Small Arms Fire
Time: June 16, 2011, 8:14 pm

Hence the issue of moody broodiness is elegantly solved, Can’t Hark.

I always said that the best chick to date is a sterile orphan. PeacØck is the equivalent of such a beast for the fowl fanciers. +1PeacØks!

Comment from Sporadic Small Arms Fire
Time: June 16, 2011, 8:17 pm

@Bob Mulroney,

My solution arrives at the same result as your fellow’s muscovey>duckling variant, only without a mess, expense and waiting.

Comment from Sporadic Small Arms Fire
Time: June 16, 2011, 8:20 pm

“EEEEEEEEEEERch!” ?! She said ““EEEEEEEEEEERch!”?!?

The gall of the hen! they decapitate lots of fowl for far less. I’m all for freedom of expression but this ““EEEEEEEEEEERch!” ““EEEEEEEEEEERch!” “EEEEEEEEEEERch!” has got to go. Was she raised by football hooligans?

Comment from Can’t hark my cry
Time: June 16, 2011, 8:21 pm

Ah. I was misled by your prattle about peacock egg futures. There goes the untrustworthy derivatives market yet again. And, um, my memory of peacocks (now over 50 years old, I’ll concede, but reinforced by occasional references in fiction) is that “sing” is the wrong verb, and “beautifully” is the wrong adverb.

Comment from Sporadic Small Arms Fire
Time: June 16, 2011, 9:05 pm

Ok, so maybe peacocks taught Yoko Ono to sing.

I know that peacocks are obtained by artificial insemination of female parakeets with the fperm of pheasants and then feeding the chicks with the diet rich in krill so their plummage is iridescent.

I was thinking that the very best chicks I ever beheld were those http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZTOlUeugRuA

Comment from Argentium G. Tiger
Time: June 17, 2011, 11:44 pm

Sin-binning? *snicker* *Guffaw*

I don’t know why that particular term tickles my sense of ha-ha so, but it does!


Thank you, you made my day. 🙂

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