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Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Broody Trudy

Seriously?  No sooner have we got Hilda settled on her nest of six fertilized eggs than our Jersey Giant, Trudy (A.K.A. Gertrude Stein or Trudy Phillips) has decided to get in on the action.

Teri's response? No flippin' way.

Honestly, neither one of us is eager to spend the entire summer battling broody hens.  After all, Trudy just started laying two months ago!  Besides, her brand of broody seems a bit more neurotic and less confidence-inducing than Hilda's.

So, we are trying some of the suggestions we've heard from other chicken keepers.  Alas, the fact that we are away from home for 10-11 hours, four days a week doesn't really lend itself to due diligence in breaking up a broody hen. Yesterday, we took her off the nest and gave her backside a good soak in a cool tub of water.  I did this again this evening when I came home from work to find her on the nest.  To be effective, however, I think this is something we'd need to do a few times a day and we're just not here to do that.  We are also lifting her off the nest and closing up the coop.  This only works if Virginia has already laid, so we have to leave the coop open when we head off in the morning and this must look like a big neon Motel 6 sign to Trudy!

When we close up the coop, Trudy gets cranky and cases the joint trying to break in.  She pecks, scratches and even tries to jump up as if she'll magically pass through the coop walls like she's rushing for a train at Platform 9 3/4.  Honestly, I feel a little bad for her, but we're just not up to having two broodies.  For goodness sake, we only have 3 hens of laying capacity anyway! Maybe...someday...she'll get a turn, but for now, we keep removing her eggs (which she is still, thankfully, laying), scooping her out of the nest, and dipping her bum in a cool sitz bath--hoping hard we'll be able to break up this broody spell!

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