True stories of a small flock of remarkable individuals -- and other critters.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Broody Lucy

Trish unlatched the door to her henhouse and I followed her inside.  There were two lovely hens sitting in the nesting boxes.  Trish reached under the fluffy Rhode Island Red and pulled out two warm brown eggs.  The hen didn't really seem to notice.  Trish handed me the eggs and I slipped them into my coat pocket and then hurried home.

The eggs were still plenty warm when I presented them to Lucy.
With a calm matter-of-factness, she lifted herself slightly and then gently guided the eggs with her beak to just the right spot underneath her. Then she sat down. 
That was it. No 'thank you', no nothing.  

But that was okay.

The next day I let Lucy stay on the nest rather than booting her out onto the sunny lawn with the girls.   Hatsy and Lil'White sensed that something was up, and they curiously milled about Lucy's coop.

.  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .

After seven days you're supposed to be able to see the beginnings of a chick in the egg by shining a flashlight behind it.    

Of course I couldn't wait seven days...  So on the fifth night Sarah and I went out and collected our precious eggs from under Lucy and brought them inside. We had to act swiftly, so as not to let the eggs cool too much.  We sat on the basement steps in total darkness fumbling with flashlights and eggs. 
One egg was definitely not happening.  

But in the other egg was very certainly a web of veins.  I used a pen to draw a mark on the fertile egg so we could tell them apart, then returned them both to Lucy's  little coop.  I tucked the eggs under her wonderful fluff.   Budup   budup   budup   --- what a nice sound out there in the dark warm night.

Thirteen days to go.


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