success with a broody hen

Our broody hen kept brooding.  Each night I would remove her from the eggs she was safeguarding and, after a quick sup, she would go back to the nesting box.  And so it continued night after night for a week.   Our research indicated that if she was kept in a place where her underside was cool, she might desist.  I located and positioned 6 cinder blocks on top of which I placed the wire cage we had used when they were newly born.  Since the bottom of the cage was a solid removable tray, which would block air passage, I rotated the cage so the bottom was on  the side.  And I placed a queen  bee restrictor grill on the bottom of the wire cage for her comfort.

temporary quarter for Yellow Legs
temporary quarters for Yellow Legs

Yellow Legs was very unhappy with imprisonment – she kicked over the water and food dishes which I replaced with receptacles not easily overturned and, whenever I opened the door she made a dash for freedom, sometimes successfully.  After a couple of days of mutual frustration I decided to release her to the flock and resigned myself to the evening turnover routine.  But – to our delight she was cured and now roams with the flock.  Success.

And for some other chicken news.  Our rooster had a black mite infestation on his comb.  I treated with a solution of neem oil mixed with olive oil (I usually use Johnson baby oil but couldn’t find it) and he was cured.  One of the black speckled hens had feathers missing from her wing – feather plucking or maybe a failed predator attack?  I treated with blue kote and it is healing well.  And finally, the next pic shows a celebration of sorts.  Last evening as I was leaving I couldn’t find Randa who is agile, flies easily over the paddock fence and likes to make the most of daylight hours and (it seems) when I am looking for her she hides in the overgrowth.  I wandered around looking, called her and even the sunflower seed trick (rattle the seed in a plastic container) failed.  So I departed not knowing if I would see her again.  This morning there she was as usual in the yard.  To celebrate I got more sunflower seed, had some myself and scattered the rest for the flock.  Randa warily entered the paddock and participated.

10 hens and a rooster enjoying sunflower seed
10 hens and a rooster enjoying sunflower seed.  the hen with the missing feathers is in the middle

So peace for the moment.


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