She had been hanging around the nest
more than usual.
Then in one day,
there were several eggs in one nest
rather than scattered around all the nests.
The next day,
there was another big batch.
Ann took a few
and put them in an incubator.
So we’re giving that a go.
The third day
that there were several eggs,
we called our friend Deb
who has raised chickens for a long time.
We knew that,
with all the hybridization,
chickens have forgotten
how to sit on a nest.
A couple of years ago,
we had a hen who liked to sit on the nest
and wouldn’t leave.
When she finally decided to get off the nest,
the other hens would peck at her
until she got back on the nest.
This nesting thing
has been confusing,
seemingly,
for everyone.
The black hen was acting
differently, so,
taking Deb’s advice,
we shut the door on her
when she was sitting on the nest of eggs,
so the other hens wouldn’t drive her off
and lay more eggs in the nest.
We gave her food and water.
She seemed content.
That was three days ago.
It takes 21 days to hatch the eggs.
We’re not certain
the black hen is still content.
She moves around,
knocking over food dish
and water.
And she kicks some of the eggs
out from under her.
Sometimes,
when we go to check on her,
turn the water right side up,
I think she’d like to get out.
Other times,
she seems content.
It’s a conundrum:
Does she need help learning how to do this?
So should we keep her confined?
Or are we making her miserable,
to no avail?
Sometimes I hear the hens
talking loudly
and when I hurry down to see what’s going on,
they’ve stopped their commotion.
We are keeping an eye on her
and, hopefully, learning.
Hoping too
she can be a proud mother.