Monday, August 1, 2016

Broody Year

This has been a summer of extra-broodiness in our little flock. Some years we don't have any hens searching for mommy fulfillment and I have to buy chicks or hatch them in the incubator. But this year we've had 3 to go off laying. The first 2, a Buff Orpington and a Silkie, didn't surprise me because they are known to go broody. The 3rd, though, is an unknown mix (I suspect part Cuckoo Marans) and she's been here for several years but had never gone broody before. She actually was scheduled for freezer camp when she stopped laying but DH had developed a soft spot for her so I gave her a couple of the Orpington eggs to sit on. And sit she did!

 Sometimes having an empty (human) nest has its advantages! It doesn't bother me when the hens stop laying since we have more than enough eggs for 2 people. All the little ones hatched this year will be butchered when they reach fryer age. I don't even worry about them reaching a certain weight- they'll be plenty big enough for us. Having broody hens ensures that I won't be buying eggs or chicken meat for the next year.

It's pretty much a given that the Silkies will go broody again this year. I plan to put next year's turkeys and guineas under them when they do. We're down to 1 guinea and they do such a good job of protecting the flock that I like to have 3 or 4. When the freezer broke, we lost all of our turkey meat so I need to restock that also. The Silkies have proven to be excellent caretakers of all types of chicks and poults and keets. That takes a lot of workload off of me.

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