Rusty is definitely broody. She was in the nest box from when I first went out this morning. I looked in the nest box and she raised her tail. It made me realise that Freckles must have been going broody recently when she was doing the same tail raising thing.
The odd thing was that she didn’t commit to it so I passed it off as not being broody. She had been in the nest box on and off for a couple days and then finally laid a tiny egg. She was raising her tail when I checked on her in the nest box. After she laid her egg she returned to the nest box briefly as if she wasn’t sure she had laid it and then left the nest box and didn’t return to it. She did then take a break of six days before starting to lay again. It’s as if she was about to go broody but changed her mind.
Every time I have gone out to the girls today I have lifted Rusty out of the nest box. She would then go and have some pellets from the three amigos feeding station, then run up the ladder for some water from the bottle (I have no idea why she goes there for water), then have a manic dust bath.
She isn’t an angry broody and is totally docile and quiet. She will let me stroke her and pick her up and never growls or tries to peck like some past broody girls (Topaz). In fact at the weekend we had our grandchildren to stay over, they are aged five and eight and they were thrilled that they could both stroke her and hold her. They don’t usually get this chance as the girls usually keep their distance from visitors.
At one point this afternoon she spent time on the perch above the ladder and I wondered if she may come out of this fairly quickly.
Freckles then went in to lay her egg and when I next checked Rusty was sat on it. I guess an egg is just too hard to resist. By now it was five o’clock and unlikely that any more girls would want to lay so I took Rusty out again and closed the nest boxes. It would be good if I could help her snap out of it sooner rather than later.
I always think it’s a little sad to spend days sitting in a nest box without an end result and it’s better that they get back to doing normal chicken things as soon as possible but I am so glad that she is a sweet broody girl rather than a little monster.