Sympathy Brooder

Little Sister sitting her eggs and warily watching a very very small mouse

Little Sister sitting her eggs and warily watching a very very small mouse

While we were away in Moab, Little Sister got the urge. Upon our return, she could not be removed from the nest box. Day and night she quietly lay there. She had ripped out the feathers on her breast to be closer to the imaginary eggs that she was incubating. And she was pro-tec-tive! Anytime I opened the nest boxes, she raised her feathers and growled. Always a little feral, Little Sister drew blood when I reached in the nest box to mess with her. She had it bad.

Since Calamity Jane only hatched three of her eggs, and we lost two hens while we were away, I decided we could afford to raise another wee batch of chicks. OK, OK, I admit, it’s a bit of an addiction. It’s fascinating and they’re just so damn cute!

Fertile eggs for the Sympathy Brooder

Fertile eggs for the Sympathy Brooder

So it was back to The Bradley Farm in Puyallup, WA to choose fertile eggs from amongst their lovely breeding hens. This time I decided 6 was enough and chose two each of lavender orpington, blue orpington, and salmon faverolle.

Unlike CJ, Little Sister did not take immediately to her eggs in the broody box. First she indulged in the solitary access to fresh water and food. Sip, sip, nibble, nibble, sip sip nibble. Then a quick pass by the eggs. Then she freaked out.

But by dusk she decided she could sit the eggs. Well maybe just one. I shoved the rest under there (wearing a glove this time) and she’s been at it ever since. That was 2 days ago. I spy on her with binoculars from the kitchen window to make sure she is doing her job. 19 days left to go…

Little sister defending the food and water in her broody box from the curious hens outside

Little sister defending the food and water in her broody box from the curious hens outside

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