Eggcitement!

Lil Georgia is about 1/3 the size of the bigger hens. She lays eggs bigger than her head! She is just over 2lbs while Omelette (my biggest hen) is over 7lbs.

Georgia and Omelette sharing the upper nest box

Apr 30th update:

The excitement is in a stasis for the next two weeks as we wait for Chick Day 2011 to arrive. No news is good news at this point. Lil Georgia hasn’t been off the nest for any length of time since Wednesday afternoon. She does seem to be creeping to the right in the nest some and trying to steal the big girls eggs.  I’m going to have to move her after dark one of these days, but I’ll try to leave it until next week so she can settle into her mood more. She doesn’t seem to notice my presence unless I get within 5 or 6 inches of her, then she viciously pecks in my direction.  She’s gonna be a good momma, very protective!

Mostly I’ll just be waiting for May 12th to arrive. I still have to decide how many and what types of chicks to get for Georgia.

Apr 27th update:

Wednesday morning 7 am, Georgia was out in the run with the big girls. I didn’t think too much of it as it’s just the beginning of the broody period. Wed night when I arrived home at 5 pm Georgia was out in the run. I opened the door to the run to let them out into the yard and Lil G came running out, all bright eyed, to forage in the grass and compost pits with the bigger hens. First they all detoured to the south side of the house to dust bath in the one dry plot of dirt left after all the rain we have received lately.

I got a bit conerned about Georgia’s behavior, but it’s early yet. So after running some errands I went into the coop to make some adjustments to the nests and add some small wooden balls to Georgia’s area, only to find her back on the nest. So I cut some material up and stapled it to the upper nest box to make it darker and give miss broody a bit of privacy. By screening her off I hope to make the older girls move to a different area of the nest box.

Georgia had a few eggs under her, which I had to steal. I gave her back some of the small wooden balls, but she pecked at me just the same. That was really exciting! She hadn’t noticed my movements until I got within a few inches of her! Nice. She’s starting to look inward and to guard her nest.  All positive behaviors if you want a broody hen. She also slept in the nest again last night. This is looking good!

Apr 26th update:

Georgia is still on the nest at 8:30 pm. Her eyes are much more vacant than this morning. She didn’t follow me with her eyes or her head when I moved around in the coop. She did take notice when I stole the big girls eggs from her, but she didn’t even get up. She had a full crop (which you can see pretty good in the picture below) though so I know she is still eating. That is pretty normal for now. She had 2 standard size and one bantam size real eggs and two standard size fake eggs under her. She always has the golf ball. I’m not sure why though.

Georgia setting

Original April 25, 2011 post:

I arrived home last night (Monday April 25th, 2011) about 5:20pm to find my little bantam pullet, Georgia, on the nest. Curious as to how many eggs she could cover I reached under her and took the eggs out from under her. She had 3 standard size eggs and 1 fake standard size egg under her with her wings spread out to cover them. Only two of them were warm though so now I know she may want 4, but she can’t have more than 2 standard eggs. I gave her back 3 fake eggs and took the real ones inside the house.  Around 7:20pm I noticed that the big hens had gone to bed (about an hour early due to the cloud cover) so I went out to close up the coop and check in on the progress of Georgia’s egg only to find her still on the nest! So I left he alone and return a little after 8pm to find she was still comfortably on the nest. I began to get excited! Oh to finally get a broody!

If Georgia goes broody now, there are 16 days until I pick up chicks from Bourn Feed on May 12th. I’ve heard of people getting broodies to take chicks even before they’ve brooded for 21 days. It’s a chance I’m willing to take to integrate the new chicks into the flock. I’d have to watch Georgia the morning after I slipped her chicks to see if she’d take them.

I woke up this morning to a much lighter sky, than we have had for many days in a row, and couldn’t wait to go check on little G! However, I’m a practical gal so I finished all my get-ready-for-work chores before going out to investigate. First I opened the run door and scattered some oats for the big girls (standard sized buff Orpingtons). Georgia was conspicuously absent. Then I closed the run up and opened the coop door. Inside the coop Georgia’s usual perch had droppings on it (I may not have cleaned them off from Sunday night) and she was snuggled into the nest.

There are two nests, each one is about 32 inches long so they each fit 3 or 4 standard size birds into them (if the hens were so inclined). I’ve never seen more than two hens in the top box at a time each as far away from the other as possible. I’ve never had an egg in the bottom box nor have I seen any of the hens in it.

I don’t know if Georgia spent the night in the nest box or not (I cleaned off her normal perch so that I’ll know in the future), but I do know that she gathered up all the fake eggs from all 32 inches of nest box into the area where she is sitting. There are usually fake eggs in each corner and sometimes in the middle. I think 5 of them altogether. Her egg hoarding is a good sign. She looked at me with very bright eyes which isn’t such a good sign. Often times a hen will try out brooding on and off for a few days or weeks before she actually decides to take the plunge. I wish I had the time to let that happen, instead I’m going to do my best to encourage her to stay on the nest. How I’m going to do that I’m not entirely sure, but I imagine it will involve making the nest darker and quieter so that she isn’t disturbed by the other hens or visiting humans.

I’m just friggin’ excited I can barely tolerate my own thoughts!

Go little Georgia girl go!

Advertisements
This entry was posted in brooding. Bookmark the permalink.