Yesterday the first of this year’s chicks, the littles, laid her first egg. What a great moment of celebration. My 19-week old birds have started to lay. I have 3 more on the cusp of laying and the rest of the littles are not far behind. I love this time when they are finding their big girl instincts. This has been made complicated by the fact that my broody hens of a few weeks ago are back at it.
For those unfamiliar a hen who is broody, spends all her time on the nest box hatching eggs. If they don’t have eggs, they pretend they do. They will fight with other hens who want to use the nest box to protect. It is a further complicated by the fact that every hen does not have their own nest box, but three or four hens will share a single box. Suddenly you don’t have enough boxes and hens start to think about laying on the coop floor.
I have two hens who sit in the nest boxes for days refusing to let other birds in. Today I went out to check and found four birds standing waiting to get on the nest box. Four birds who want to lay, being prevented by two birds, who are not laying. This frustrated me to the point I put each hen under my arm and carried them about 200 feet away and put them down to make their way back. I repeated this exercise twice more today. By the end of the day I was just frustrated and angry with these two birds.
These two birds were schedule to go to the freezer before winter set in and tonight their time ran out. I was tired of the uphill battle I was waging. So we butchered the two broody birds tonight. It was the complete circle of life for these two birds tonight.