Thursday, May 5, 2011

Tentative excitement!

Little Red Hen # 2
It now seems as if I have a broody hen!  My Rhode Island Red, renamed Little Red Hen the 2nd,  has all the signs of one.  A broody hen is one that has gone all maternal and is setting on eggs with an eye to raising chicks.  She spent all day on the nest yesterday, and this morning, when I felt under her wing to see if there was an egg (there was), she growled at me.  Then I slipped another egg that had been laid very early this morning in under her.  So she has at least 2 to experiment with.  If there are any more eggs laid today from the other hens, I will slip those in, also.  I am cautiously excited, as there are so many variables to this situation.  Firstly, will Little Red actually stay on the nest for the 21 days, or will she tire of it before then? Abandonment is not uncommon.  Secondly, if any actually hatch, will she be able to raise them to bigger than a puffball before they succumb to any one of a number of dooryard hazards?  I will have to make a special place for the little family to live in while they get big enough to mix with the rest of the flock. 
When she was a chick
People who raise chickens for eggs don't want a broody hen as she stops laying eggs while she is setting.  I want to do it as a way to increase the flock without having to be the mama myself, as I was for her.  Theoretically, all I will have to do is provide the housing and food, she will take care of the rest.
So, we shall see!

Meanwhile, in the land of fiber,  I am determined to get my socks finished.  It shouldn't be much longer as I am on the leg now, so I will just knit until they are the height I want, or the yarn is used up, whichever comes first.  Am also spinning the lovely roving from the fiber mill, which is white, with an eye towards some more hand painting.  That is always tons of fun!

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