I think I won this round of Broody Roulette. Just.
I had moved broody Helen Cluck into the big cage so she could sit on some Batch #2 eggs that needed to be moved out of the incubator so the Batch #1 chicks could hatch. The Batch #2 eggs had to go to a broody hen or two.
On the morning of egg lockdown day it was clear that Helen Cluck did not want to sit in the big cage. She was sitting, then she wasn’t. She wanted out. Oh dear.
I put her back into the main pen, not knowing whether her broodiness was broken or not, trying not to get stressed about it. Broody Morpheus was still sitting in a nestbox. I still had a possible move. Helen Cluck found her way back to her favourite nestbox and has sat there happily ever since.
I made another risky move. I moved Morpheus into the big cage instead. I did not want to have all the Batch #2 eggs in the main coop under two broodies with so many hens trying to lay in there. The only reason I had chosen to try and move Helen Cluck over Morpheus is because Helen Cluck had been broody for longer.
I needn’t have worried. Morpheus is a broody machine. It was an ordeal to move her. She doesn’t just peck when a hand comes right up to her, she lunges fiercely if a hand comes anywhere near her, as far as she can reach. She almost got me outside of the long, thick rubber glove zone! But I got her moved into the big cage with fake eggs and one real egg to entice her into one of the green nestboxes that she’s used to. The whole world knew about it. She made sure of that. But then, she sat. I have had to clean poop out of her nestbox twice because she doesn’t get up for breaks much. She sits. Fiercely, she sits. Ain’t nobody gonna mess with Morpheus.
That evening I gave Morpheus the 15 Batch #2 eggs fathered by the late Todd. Helen Cluck, back in Featherburn Lodge, was given the 7 eggs fathered by Winston Cheepers. She pecks hard too but isn’t as fearsome as Morpheus. Both of them have sat on their eggs well. Phew. That was a risky round!
Yesterday was hatch day, well, the first of the hatch days, for the Batch #1 incubator eggs. A speedy blue Jemima chick led the charge early yesterday morning and spent most of the day waiting for a buddy to hatch out. Now they’re popping out all over the place. I’m keeping a close eye on them so I can tag who’s chick is who’s with different coloured leg ties. Todd is officially a father. Hooray!