Friday, May 3, 2013

Feathered Friend Friday: A Broody Hen

Earlier this week, I went out to the coop one evening to gather eggs and let the chickens out to free range for a while. When I was checking for eggs, I saw that one of our hens (Ellie, our light Brahma) was sitting in a nesting box. I immediately thought she might be broody, because she always lays her eggs in the morning, so it seemed strange that she would still be in a nesting box when it was in the evening.

My suspicions were confirmed when I approached the box and this happened.


Broodiness is a very strange thing, and one the hen has no say over. Every so often, forces beyond her control will compel a hen to sit on a clutch of eggs and hatch them out. She becomes very protective of her brood and will scream and bite if you come near her babies. This is just instinct of course, and I'm not mad at her for biting the crap out of my hand. She's just doing what any good mama would do.


As you may remember, we currently have five baby chicks inside the house right now, but we have decided to go ahead and let Ellie hatch out some of her eggs. We put several more eggs under her to get a good mix of chicks and give her a better chance of hatching some out successfully. It's clear how much she wants to be a mama, and I just can't bring myself to crush her dream again (she went broody last year and I broke her of it because we didn't want chicks at the time - it took her forever to forgive me!). So we will keep you updated as things progress, and hopefully in several weeks we will have some mama and baby photos to show you.

I also have an awesome giveaway for you today! My sweet friend Jackie from Born Ambitious. Born Imaginative. recently sent me two of her cute handmade drawstring bags. I mentioned in her post about the bags a few weeks back that I loved the ones with chickens stitched on the front (go figure) and she graciously sent me one to keep for myself, and one to give away to a lucky reader!


This is the bag you will receive (as modeled by Penelope). All you have to do is leave a comment on this post to let me know you'd like to be entered into the drawing. US residents only please. I will pick a winner at random on Tuesday, May 7 at 11:59pm CST. Winner will be announced next Wednesday the 8th.

Head over to Jackie's blog for more details on her handmade bags and see how you can order some of your own. She has a stockpile going right now with lots of fun designs so you're sure to find something you love. Check it out here and look around her blog a bit while you're there. The photos of her adorable kids will grab your attention and her delicious food will make you want to stick around and come back for more. If it's your first time paying her a visit, let her know I sent you! She'd be so thrilled to meet you.

~Tammy

*****GIVEAWAY CLOSED*****

The winner is...
Staci from Life At Cobble Hill Farm. Congrats, Staci!

Shared with From The Farm Blog Hop 

39 comments:

  1. aww!!

    awesome!!
    love bay chicks!!:)

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  2. So cute! Congrats Mama! My daughter loved this little video, thank you!

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  3. Tammy, congrats! And what a beautiful mama Ellie is too! Baby chicks are so cute-and that drawstring bag is adorable!! Please enter me in the drawing!

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  4. Awwww, baby chicks are the cutest <3

    I adore the bag as well. It is absolutely beautiful!

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  5. Looking forward to seeing some new chicks in a few weeks!

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  6. Oh Ellie I have been bit and as a matter of fact chased by a few protective Mama's and want to be Mama's in my day. She is very cute. New chicks sound wonderful I cannot wait. Nice bag but I am not in the USA drat:) B

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  7. Your video brought tears to my eyes when I watched it...last feb my Charlotte went broody, she's My FAVORITE sweet girl! and I didn't quite know what was going on yet for a few days...it really is just the sweetest thing... their instinct to protect. and the funny thing with Charlotte, she wasn't even sitting on anything! Such good momma's!

    I tell ya I'm excited to see what hatches from her little brood!

    and goodness, those little satchels are the sweetest!

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  8. that poor broody hen! glad you're letting her sit. good luck!

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  9. Somebody has to show that chicken who's boss!

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  10. Clucky chooks are so funny, (clucky = broody in NZ!). Just wondering if you are going to move Ellie and her eggs into a separate coop for her confinement? My experience is that it's best to move them early on, if you can take her nesting box with her she'll never even know! you are going to have lots of new names to pick too! S:)

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  11. How darling is that. Your poor hen. Is she a Delaware?

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  12. **The bag is darling not the poor hen though she is cute.

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  13. Oh. My. Gosh. That sound Ellie made was unsettling! I'm going to opt out of the giveaway entry so I don't take an entry away from peeps (pun intended) who have a heart for chickens....but if it was a cat on that bag, I'd be throwing up fists!

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  14. Always love your chickens..I am Canadian but the bag is lovely..
    Have a good weekend, Tammy..

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  15. I remember having hens do that when I was living at home. I even had one I hand raised because s he was a new momma! Hope you get a good brood.

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  16. Aww thats great that you have a hen setting it is so much fun ... well as long as you keep you hand out from under her lol . Thanks Tammy I will be checking out Jackie's blog next.

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  17. Your hen Ellie is so cute! Good for you letting her go ahead and hatch some chicks. Exciting!

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  18. Ellie wants to be left alone and she let you know it. Mine haven't bite me yet. But I know one day it will happen. Can't say I blame them. I wouldn't want to be bothered either if I was trying to hatch my eggs.

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  19. I love the name Penelope, and what a lovely little lady to own it :)
    Thanks for the chance to win. Have a great weekend!

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  20. That is so very interesting! I am so glad you were able to video this to share :)I am curious, what do you use for the nesting boxes? I can't identify it!

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  21. Ha ha, we'll Ellie did try to warn you before she tried to have your fingers for an evening snack! Glad she gets to brood this time. Can't wait to see the baby chicks soon.

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  22. Ellie is so cute, I am glad she get to brood. I am looking forward to seeing the chicks. Have a happy weekend!

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  23. Be sure to mark the eggs with a pencil. The year we did that, every time the broody hen got up the other hens would go lay more eggs in that nest!

    Cute bag :-)

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  24. Oh, poor Ellie. It's sweet of you to let her become a mama. I'm already following Jackie and enjoy reading about her kids and projects and farming in Northern New England. Cute bag - please enter me for the drawing.

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  25. That's so awesome that you'll have more chicks soon! You guys are doing almost the exact same thing we did. Our Little Carl decided to go broody a few weeks after I started our incubator chicks. It's so much fun to see her teaching her babies all about the world. I can't wait to see pictures!!

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  26. The bag is adorable and look forward to seeing the chicks, oh what fun! :) (don't enter me for the drawing, not in the U.S. :)

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  27. Oh wow Ellie means business!! I was chased by a hen a time or two when I was a youngster...I quickly learned my lesson haha.

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  28. That's nice that you're letting her hatch her chicks. :) The bag is nice, and it was really nice that your friend sent it. I'm going to go check out her blog now.

    Happy weekend to you!

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  29. In our handful of years with laying hens, we never did have one go broody. I think it's wonderful, even if she is ornery! ;)

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  30. I don't want to enter, just wanted to say thanks for the chuckle. Ellie will not be stopped! Can't wait to follow this adventure.

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  31. How nice of you to let Ellie raise a few chicks. It'll be fun for you to have some babies running around since the chicks you have now will be young ladies!! I don't want to enter for the bag at this time but they are nice!! Would be perfect for kids to hold crayons, markers and things along that line!

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  32. What a good mama Ellie is! It will be so much fun to have more chicks pretty soon! I'm heading over to Jackie's blog.

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  33. Such a sweet bag! I would love to be entered. :) Ahh....the broody hen. Fun, isn't it? My little Lizzie is broody right now and it appears Mama Claire is getting ready to be. Thankfully for us, they are the only 2 who are consistently broody. Heading over to Jackie's blog right now. :)

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  34. YYYAAAYYYYY you have a broody!!!! I am so excited for you! You will have so much fun watching Ellie raise her chicks and show them everything to do. Our broody has been hatching her eggs out today- we can't see any of them yet but we hear them cheeping under her feathers!

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  35. And your little(?) family continues to grow...congrats!
    Farmhouse hugs,
    Cindy

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  36. Yay, how exciting! I can't wait to see them! Good luck!

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  37. I hope she makes it be a momma!

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  38. Thanks so much Tammy! Can't wait to get it. :)

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  39. Oh wow How much fun is that sewing and chicks together! I am a major sewer and I just got my 1st 3 hens this week.!!! here I would like to share with you all..

    http://openbeauty.blogspot.com/2013/05/mothers-day-sewing-and-few-chickens.html

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