Sunday, February 10, 2013

Hen Dunking

A broody hen is really useful when you need to hatch some eggs. You catch the one that is most reluctant to get off her own eggs and put her on a pile of fertilised eggs that you want to hatch. A good broody hen is quite happy to sit on a bunch of eggs that she didn't lay herself. We call her the 'Nadine hen'.

We've done with hatching eggs for the summer. However, we still have a Nadine hen. She just sits on her nest and pecks me whenever I try and collect eggs. I knew that when she drew blood one time that we had to do something.

There are two ways to deal with a broody hen. One is to put her in a cage and hang the cage in a tree for a few days. We don't like to keep our hens in cages. Which leaves the other more direct approach. Dunking the hen in a pail of water.

Now I know where the expression 'madder than a mad hen' comes from!

It seems to have worked. I collected the eggs this morning and she got off her eggs quick smart. Either we have cured her broodiness. Or she knows she is going to get dunked if she pecks me again. Either way works for us.

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