Flame is happy to lay her eggs next to a little girl and if it’s a broody girl they get to sit on Flame’s eggs. Flame could lay in one of the empty nest boxes but she actually seeks out a nest box with a little girl in it.
Flame laid her egg next to Smoke yesterday and Smoke sat on it as soon as Flame left the nest box.
Ebony is quite different. Whereas Flame seems drawn to little girls in the nest box Ebony has no tolerance of them at all. Ebony has no time for little girls either in the nest box or out of it and will peck them away from her.
Today Ebony was in the nest box getting ready to lay her egg. I had lifted Smoke for a break and Smoke realised Ebony was in the nest box. Smoke wasn’t brave enough to try to join Ebony in the nest box but Smoke wanted Ebony’s egg to sit on.
Smoke kept a vigil at the ramp of the nest box. Sometimes I swear these broody girls have a sixth sense when another girl is laying an egg. I have known the broody girl leave the nest box they are in to sit on an egg laid in the next nest box. We think they are alerted by the sound of a girl leaving a nest box.
Smoke could see Ebony in the nest box so she decided to wait outside. She had her wings raised and was determined to wait it out. If I moved her aside she would instantly take up her position again.
These broody girls are very determined. I am not even trying to break Smoke out of this as sometimes when I take her out of the nest box she will stand and shout her head off and she is the loudest of all our girls. Smoke can shout even louder than Ebony and that’s saying something!
I now just take Smoke out mid morning and mid afternoon for a break and lift her every time I go in to check if is she is sitting on an egg and if she is I remove the egg. I will let it take it’s course.