Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Our Nadine hen

It was pretty clear to us that we needed some more hens.  The easiest way to do this was to buy some.  Or we could hatch some eggs.  Now, there's an idea.

There are two ways of hatching eggs.  The first way is to put a clutch of fertilized eggs in an incubator for a few weeks and watch them hatch.  The second way is the old fashioned way: grab a broody Nadine hen and plonk her on top of some fertilised eggs. 

Now I should probably clarify what I mean by a "Nadine hen". Nadine Balling was our au pair at the time I was explaining our plan to the kids.  Nadine helped raise children that weren't biologically hers.  It's the same with hens.  A broody hen is quite happy to sit on a bunch of eggs that she didn't lay herself.

We decided on the old fashioned away of hatching eggs.  We got ourselves a nesting box and set it up next to the hen coop.  I made an attractive looking nest of straw within it and filled it with 12 fertilised eggs.

There were a few hens sitting on eggs.  I gave each a poke.  The hen most reluctant to get off her eggs became our Nadine hen.  I grabbed her between my open palms and pulled her out of the hen coop.  She was doing a lot of squawking and flapping.  I dropped her into the nesting box and our 7 year old slammed the lid down.  Done.

Now we (mostly the Nadine hen) all sit tight and wait for our eggs to hatch.

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