Saturday, August 18, 2012
Yellow Hen Broody, Lays An Egg VIDEO
Yellow Hen started laying eggs again today. I noticed because she went, and this is the scientific term, NUTS! At the very last second of the video, she sneezes from the cool water, when the rest of her is burning hot with hormones, its as though shes running a fever.
Hens look for a quiet, secure spot, darting about here there and everywhere clucking. Sometimes you can see their tail feathers bouncing up and down, as they "go into contractions", they "give birth" to each egg after all.
She found this spot after a couple hours of searching, where she sleeps, two metres off the ground. Not an ideal place to nurture 10 eggs into chicks Yellow Hen! Her back is firmly against the brick wall, she is as far back, as "enclosed" as she can be, short of having any long grass, plants to nest in. I always give them their space when they are like this, so they dont panic about being attacked. Her pupils are massive, her comb and wattle (red skin above and below head) are flushed red. They look as though they're on some kind of illicit, flight or fight drug in this state.
There are no male chickens about, no Rooster, so her eggs are unfertilised. After laying them, she is absolutely fine with eating them with the other Rescued Hens.
Amazing to see just how strong the "broody" instinct is, a huge swell of instinct/hormones that makes Hens behave like they've lost their marbles in the search to find somewhere safe and lay her eggs. Their body temperature shoots up, and when they actually have a clutch of eggs, their lower feathers underneath fall out, bare, BURNING HOT skin against the eggs to keep them warm. A Hen will stay on her eggs for about a month, until they hatch. Her instinct/hormones make her put them far above her own needs, she will only leave the nest for ~10 minutes a day in a frantic search for food, water, clucking all the while before rushing back to the nest. Often they seem to have "forgotten" where the nest is in their panic too!
Lucky Hen, when I found where she was, I brought her water in a Marmite jar lid! :-)
She will be ok as the eggs are given to them all to eat, its only when laying the eggs that they get all "crazy", five minutes after taking this video she was back to normal, and enjoying the outside sun with all the Hen Friends.
"Chicken Friends Enjoying Their Eggs" older video with the Bantam Chickens like Yellow Hen
"Rescued Hens Enjoy Their Eggs" recent video with Rescued Hens eating one of their eggs, Yellow Hen joins in.
Chickens naturally eat their eggs, they eat their way out of their own eggs as chicks. This fantastically means that they do not need to eat for the first few days of their fully mobile, active lives, as they're still full! Open eyed, talking, responsive to others and although they sometimes "sway", they are mobile :-)