One afternoon a few weeks ago, I went down to the Chook Pen to lock the girls up safely for the night. Our black chook, 'In The Box' was no where to be found. The girls had been hanging around the dog pen for the previous few days, eating the left over dog food and scratching under the fruit trees in there. Furious, I stomped over to the dog pen, ready to kill Pippi, our Kelpie cross Border Collie. I was certain she must of killed In The Box. To my surprise, there were no feathers, nor a carcass. I immediately calmed down, said a mental apology to the dog for jumping to conclusions and had a search around the house yard for either a chook, a carcass or a very fat snake. Nothing.
For the next week, In The Box was not seen and I accepted that she had been eaten by something during her daylight free ranging.
|Temporary brooder box, awaiting to be adopted out to their new mumma|
Then on the following weekend, I saw her run across the front yard and into the Chook Pen for a drink and some feed. I kept an eye on her and discovered where she had disappeared to.... Yes, In The Box was broody and had hidden away a clutch of eggs below a retaining wall.
Unfortunately, we have no rooster so In The Box was wasting her time, sitting on ticking timebombs, which would eventually go rotten and explode in an unworldly stench. I did some googling and decided the best thing would be to buy her some fresh chicks to stick under her.
|A little bit of outside time, prior to being adopted|
At night I moved her and four of her unhatchable eggs into a small pen into the garden. I left her there for the day to get used to her new nest. The next night, I took the chickens down and slipped them under her one by one, removing all but one of the eggs. I probably could have left all the eggs or taken all of the eggs, I doubt chooks can do maths, but better safe than sorry.
|In The Box with her adopted brood|
Two of my other hens- Chicken Dance and Fly also went broody and I purchased a dozen fertilised eggs to split between them. I'm now playing the waiting game to see if any of the eggs will hatch.