This is Patti.
Patti is confused.
Why is Patti confused? Well, it seems the silly little biddy has decided to go broody. When a hen goes 'broody' it means that she feels the urge/need to sit on her eggs and hatch them. Think of it as her biological clock is ticking. Of course, we don't have a rooster, so our eggs won't hatch. No matter how long she sits on them.
So .. where is the confusion part?? Patti won't sit on eggs. She's exhibiting all the signs of being broody - sitting in one spot all day long, refusing to move except for an occasional break for food and water.
When a hen goes broody she will quit laying eggs. Patti has never been a very good egg layer anyway (Cochins are only 'Fair' egg layers), but still. So .. what to do?
We decided that if Mother Nature has told Patti to sit and go broody, we'd allow her to rather than trying the things you can try to get a hen to quit being broody. We also decided that we'd get Patti a few eggs to try and hatch. Think of this as the Spring project you used to do in grade school, hatching chicks and ducklings. We don't plan on keeping the chicks (we'll sell any that do hatch) since we don't need or want any more chickens. We just wanted to let Patti go through the natural experience of hatching some eggs.
Yesterday, I met up with a lady and bought a few eggs for hatching. This means that she does have a rooster, and so hopefully these eggs will hatch if sat on. She was very kind and threw in 3 extra eggs, bringing the number we got to 6. We have 3 Blue Black Splash Orpington eggs & 3 Split Black/Lavender Project Orpington hatching eggs.
So far, however, Patti won't sit on them. I have managed to pick her up and put them on the eggs a couple of times now, but she won't stay on them. We originally put them on the floor of the coop (we don't want potential chicks trying to hop down out of the nest boxes, they're too high), but this morning I moved them into a nest box. Hopefully Patti will figure it out. I picked her up and sat her on the clutch of eggs, even gently nudging one up against her underside. She sat there for a while, but when I went back out just a bit ago, there she was back outside.
This is part of nature though too. We'll see if Patti, or even one of our other biddies, decides to sit on these little eggs. If not, oh well. I'm not sure why Patti is going broody but refusing to sit on eggs, but oh well. Even a confused chicken is worthy of love.