Thursday, 22 April 2010

The wrong hen

I have been impatiently waiting for more of the hens to go broody, as I am keen to get a couple more hatches in fairly soon. Ideally I would like another batch of table birds, as so far I only have the six chicks. If they are hatched close together I can' mix and match' the groups as they get older. My husband would also like to start to build a flock of Exchequer Leghorns. Leghorns have always been a favourite breed of his and when we visited Castle Farm he was very taken with the Exchequers, not a variety he was familiar with.

Well, a hen or rather pullet has gone broody and that's where the problem is a pullet. The lighter of the Indian game pullets is broody, she is too young, I am still undecided if to breed from her this year, let alone let her sit.

We are doing all we can to discourage her. Eggs from the flock are collected almost as soon as they are laid, the nest box is turned around at night to prevent her from sneaking in and during the day she is frequently lifted from the box and carried to the far end of the paddock - hoping that on the long walk back to the house she will be distracted from the idea of sitting - not a chance ! The next step is the sin bin I'm afraid, a box with a slatted floor, so the air can circulate and hopefully cool her down, a last resort that I prefer to avoid whenever possible.

Typical, all I wanted was a couple of the older, heavy breed birds to start clucking! Oh well I'm sure they will in their own time.

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