After two days of trying, I finally got the video I took of Claire’s latest outing from the nest onto Youtube.
I can’t help but compare Claire’s broodiness to Abby’s, as before this, Abby was my only point of reference.
When Abby was broody, she was very ‘zoned’ or in what I call her ‘broody trance.’ She rarely got up on her own, and I had to carry her out at least once each morning and each afternoon, so she could take care of the personal matters of eating and pooping. She wouldn’t even notice when I did it, but sit there in one spot for several minutes, softly buck-buck-bucking to herself. When she finally snapped out of it, she’d run for the food, the water and back to her nest as quickly as she could. Only once or twice did she do more than that. Dirt bathing once on a sunny day. Abby loves her dirt baths! But no, the drive to hatch her babies (baby, in the end it was just Pip) was so strong, it eclipsed everything else. She lost a LOT of weight, especially towards the end. She still hasn’t gained it all back, really. Which isn’t a bad thing. It just means she is isn’t overweight in any way.
Claire is not so entranced yet, even into her second week of broody. She still screams when people (or, other chickens) come into the coop to lay eggs. When she leaves the nest, I am treated to spectacles like the video below. She runs around, bucking loudly (not soft at ALL!) to announce to the world that she is there and they’d all better get out of her way. At the morning treat dish (it’s not really treats. I give them 2 scoops of feed + a 3/4 scoop of scratch to start their morning and everything else is what they can forage, and there’s 12 of them, so no one gets a lot)…. as I was saying, at the morning treat dish, she guards it closely, putting her foot in the feed if someone crowds too close. She yells. She puffs up, flares her tail feathers and spreads her wings wide to make herself look huge and scary.
The morning I took this video – Wednesday, I think – Dots happened to be in the run when she came out. He hasn’t seen her in a while, as he’s been preoccupied with grandstanding so the Littles roosters know he’s the Boss. That takes up most of his time now. So he hasn’t seen her. Well, he tried to woo her… and… scream… yell… puffed up feathers… Claire does NOT want a man right now. Sorry, Double Dots.
She’s got one week left of sitting on the nest before the eggs hatch. If they hatch. I am still hands-off. No candling, and the only handling I do is to remove the extra eggs from her nest. These are eggs she either steals from nearby nests or ones hens lay while Claire is outside.
“Lockdown” begins on Saturday. That is ‘Day 18’ for the earliest two of the four eggs. Wednesday the 11th being the day she committed to sitting for real. When this happens, I intend to feed her scrambled eggs once a day, so she can stay on the nest as much as possible over those last three days.
I did that with Abby, too, but she really, really needed it. She was so out of it the whole way through her broody that by the time her final three days happened, I was beginning to worry. (Did I mention she lost waaaay too much weight?)
I’m not seeing where Claire is losing tons of weight, but, as I observed before, she isn’t as entranced as poor Abby was. But I’m still preparing to make her scrambled eggs for the weekend.