First, we have The Good - also known as Who's Cute Today...seriously... how adorable are the little ones?
Neo - Mrs. Beezley's single chick
Miss Duck's Surprise Ducklings enjoying the sunshine
Mrs. Dowlrimple and some of The Bugs
Then we get to The Bad.
The Rooster Crew, formerly part of The Kindergarten
Yesterday was a series of small miseries... each more of a pain than a drama but still altogether very disappointing. First, two of our three turkey hens got up off their nests...so we aren't counting on any more poults. Our third hen has eggs that probably aren't viable... she was a long shot for sure.
The Rooster Crew is responsible for running one of our turkey hens off her nest. They are getting aggressive and will very soon be renamed "Stew."
We rallied from that blow but when we went out to milk and put everyone up for the night... oh geez... no mistaking that horrible smell. We had a bad egg explode in our hen house. We could smell it from 20 feet away. We thought our chores would be quick and easy? Nope, smelly and took much longer. It was almost dark when we got the last of the Rooster Crew rounded up for the night.
The bad egg was under one of our ridiculous banty hens... so we get to The Broody.
We have two of these silly little hens who have not hatched anything, but my bad attitude, all dang summer. They sits for a while - then get up, then sit on the wrong eggs so the clutch that hen had been sitting on for almost a week would never hatch...then she sits on new eggs...and heaven forbid I move either of them to one of the broody coops.. oh no, won't hear of that at all. For heaven's sakes.
In the meantime the other layers are all in a fit and are hiding their eggs. So we took drastic measures - we dunked one of them.
Yep. You know that old expression "as mad as a wet hen"? Well, I couldn't figure out what it meant because our hens are always outside flapping around happily in the rain. But here is why the wet hen is mad - dunking her in cool water is one way to stop, or "break", their broodiness. A plunge in cold water is suppose to lower their body temperature which stops the broody cycle. Broody hens have a higher body temperature to make sure the eggs they are setting are warm enough to develop. So the theory is, lower the body temperature and you'll snap her out of her brood cycle.
Is this mean? Not really. Folks who show chickens bathe their birds all the time. And frankly - once they figure out you aren't trying to drown them, they kinda like it. If you are wondering if its mean to break their brood... well, remember that setting a nest takes a lot out of a hen. Some of them even die while on the nest. And this little gal has been on and off for at least 2 months. So her time is over.
She's out there in a wire cage without anything she can make a nest out of and in the shade so she's nice and cool. Hopefully I can just let her roost with everyone tonight. The old timers say to keep her in a wire cage for 3 days so she won't try and nest again. So we'll see.
So that's The Good, The Bad, and The Broody. And now... back to canning.