The day before yesterday Marmite laid and then yesterday she went broody. Marmite has laid fifteen eggs in twenty eight days compared to Smoke who laid thirteen eggs in seventeen days.
Smoke is the best, little girl, layer and the most broody. Marmite is the second best, little girl, layer and the second most broody.
Spangle and Salmon are both fairly erratic layers but have never been broody.
Usually, these days, I just leave the broody girls to get on with it. I lift them three times a day for a break and I had to lift both Smoke and Marmite from the nest box to the chicken shed at bedtime last night.
During the current circumstances the girls’ eggs are much more important to us. It wasn’t so bad having one broody girl but having both the best laying, little girls, broody at once isn’t so great.
I decided that I would try to break them from being broody to get them back to laying more quickly. If I leave them to it they won’t lay for three to four weeks. If I can break them out of it they will start laying again between one and two weeks.
Also the sooner I start this process the shorter time it takes to break the broodiness. Smoke has been broody for two days and Marmite only for one day.
As it happened Flame laid yesterday, late afternoon, for the fourth day in a row which is the most days in a row this year and Ebony also laid yesterday and she lays every other day at most. Salmon and Spangle who are more erratic both laid this morning. This meant it was the perfect time to close the nest boxes as none of the girls would need to lay. I closed all three nest boxes and blocked the chicken shed’s pop hole.
I will unblock the pop hole just before bedtime. Smoke and Marmite will probably settle in a corner of the chicken shed at bedtime but once it’s dark enough I will lift them to the perch.
I hope that I can stop their broodiness fairly quickly. At least I am home all the time to keep an eye on proceedings. The other reason this would be good is that I worm the girls in March and it will be easier to do this with no broody girls. While spending their days in the nest box they may not get their share of mash with flubenvet mixed in.
To brighten up a post of just text I thought I would add a photo of our winter hanging basket. It seems to have suddenly gone from no blooms to a mass of blooms.
It is lovely to see all the signs of spring in the garden during these difficult times.