The remaining black hen (Betty) has gone broody.
It’s a bit annoying as the other hens can’t get into the nest to lay and I don’t want her to make them broody too, also she is not eating or drinking and have read that they can literally starve themselves to death when broody. Stupid creatures.
I have been trawling around the internet and found lots of suggestions, some impractical, like: put a clutch of ice cubes under her, not gonna work in 35 degree heat, just getting the ice cubes to the farm would result in puddle on my lap.
Putting her in a cage with a wire bottom, could work but I lent my cat cage which would have been perfect to a friend and it is somewhere between here and Scotland!
A dutch friend of ours visited yesterday and said, dunk her bum in a bucket of cold water. This I can do, when we fill the water butts everyday for our gravity fed watering system, the water is very cold, as coming up from 100 meter hole.
Great, filled a bucket with it, stuck her bum in….lots of fuss.
She unruffled herself and stood straight up and got on with drinking and feeding. Brilliant it’s worked I said. 5 minutes later she’s back on the nest. Did it again, this time she quite liked it, but went straight back on nest…….Rick’s done it again this morning and he left her eating and the others laying.
I suspect that it won’t work and will result in a chicken with a very clean bum and I’ll just have to let her finish laying her clutch and when she realises nothing is going to happen, she’ll give up. I am also considering wearing protective eye wear as when I went to shove her off the nest the other day I got pecked in the eyeball….not good.