Ohiofarmgirl's Adventures in The Good Land is largely a fish out of water tale about how I eventually found my footing on a small farm in an Amish town. We are a mostly organic, somewhat self sufficient, sustainable farm in Ohio. There's action and adventure and I'll always tell you the truth about farming.

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Charlie Settin' - Finally

We have this crazy Buckeye hen that has been driving me nuts all spring. She has single handedly laid about 999 eggs since January (ok maybe not that many) - all in a big pile. But right when I think she is going to set the nest... she moves on and starts laying a big pile of eggs somewhere else.

Charlie sets her nest - finally!

And she's nuts. Like flightly, crazy, bat-crap-crazy nuts. She's a loon. We've found that while, structurally, the Buckeyes are in fact perfect for this region.... they've got a kind of madness about them. We had one little Buckeye last summer who's name was Trinity - like from the Matrix. Every morning, and I mean to tell you EVERY morning, when I opened the coop door, she'd fly out at me claws and all like this

The Buckeye breed was developed here in Ohio and is a recognized heritage breed. They have small combs, heavy bodies, clean legs, are good layers, and free range like a pack of wolves. Those hens have a kind of curiosity and stoutness that other chickens just don't have. They are kinda fearless. Unfortunately most of our Buckeyes found out they are not indestructible- and all their wild, free ranging ways led them straight into the waiting jaws of a mean little vixen who vexed me all last summer.

So we only have two Buckeye hens left. Both like to roam around with the turkeys all day and are always the last to come in at night. But finally, FINALLY, this one sat down on her king sized heap of eggs a couple days ago. If she actually sits there the whole time she'll hatch a fleet of Buckeye mixed mutts on or about July 16th.  And she'll get a leg band (a pass from ever seeing The Pot) and will be christened, Charlie.

The only problem is that there are way too many eggs for her to effectively "cover" so we are heating up the incubator and are going to sneak some out from under her. This way the eggs we leave under her will have a better chance of being evenly warmed by her body - and will be more likely to hatch. We'll tuck the incubator chicks under her when they escape their pods... I mean... eggs.  Hopefully she won't know the difference.

In other broody news - our bitchin' chicken, Baby Barnee, did not have a hatch. I'm not sure what happened but she quit her nest. We found her out roaming around one day - her eggs had cooled and for whatever reason - they were all dirty and gross. She may have had an egg break - and it fouled the rest of them. For as silly as they are, those little hens seem to know what they are doing.  So we tend to believe them if they leave a nest, or just keep setting.

Inky is still on her nest (thanks Small Farm Girl for the great name!) and she's got a couple more days to go - we're still hoping that her eggs are OK. We found her out walking around one day and we were not sure if she got locked out of the garage. We found a bad egg, broken, tossed out of the nest the other night. However, she tried to take my arm off when I tried to look under her to check the eggs. So we are going to believe Inky that she can hear her babies and that her eggs are still go for hatching.

That's the broody news here. Are your chickens hatching?

Happy Sunday evening everyone!


Carolyn said...

It seems that EVERYone is overrun with broody hens and hatching eggs but me! (Insert pitiful whine here).

Good luck with Charlie's new mega-clutch!

small farm girl said...

Well, I feel flattered that you picked the name Inky! LOL!!!!

Anonymous said...

YES! I was so excited. I have 8 new chicks hatch by mama hen that was born here last spring this batch is second generation.

I have 5 other hens sitting on a pile of eggs. I'm hoping to have a good chicky "harvest" this year. Last year I lost many to the neighbor dogs; we have since put up a electronic fence which those bad dogs respect.

Ohiofarmgirl said...

Hi Carolyn! My gals dont seem to go broody until late in the summer. Hopefully we'll get a hatch.

SMG - baby, you're the best!

Great work, Anon! Sorry about the losses - from what I hear "the neighbors dog" is the biggest farm menace. A good zap from the fence should teach them a lesson.

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