Smoke has now been broody for two weeks and Flame went broody four days ago. Once again our best two layers are broody together but as we have been getting plenty of eggs it’s not a problem at the moment.
Smoke and Flame have taken to sharing a nest box quite a lot of the time and at bedtime I have to lift them both from the nest box and put them on the bedtime perch.
A few days ago Marmite looked a bit down again and I knew she was leading up to laying another egg. The next morning her egg was in the run and the shell was fine. Marmite always looks a bit down the day before laying which must be when the egg is at an uncomfortable stage. When she actually lays the egg she seems unaware as it has been on the patio or, this time, in the run.
Marmite then goes to sit in the nest box showing that she is unaware of having laid her egg. We have seen this behaviour before with Amber in the past and with Salmon last year so it seems that the pattern is discomfort the day before but no awareness of the egg being laid.
Marmite really wanted to sit in the same nest box as the two broody girls. Obviously if they were both in one nest box then that had to be the best nest box.
Flame is a tolerant girl but Smoke isn’t. Smoke had pecked Marmite away every time she got too close to her. Smoke is happy to sit with broody Flame but she doesn’t want to share a nest box with any of the little girls.
Smoke got fed up with all the intrusions and moved to the nest box next door. In the meantime Ebony was ready to lay her egg and her current favourite nest box is the one that Flame was occupying.
I don’t understand why Marmite wants to be in the same nest box as Smoke because Smoke clearly doesn’t want her there.
Marmite spent ages stood on the ramp to the nest box Smoke was in. Every time Marmite stepped over the threshold Smoke would peck her away.
Once Ebony had laid her egg, and I quickly removed it, Marmite decided that it would be better to share with the more tolerant Flame.
Soon after this Marmite gave up on laying the egg that she had in fact already laid and left the nest box. This gave Smoke the opportunity to take up residence with Flame once more.
The two broody girls were still together like this at bedtime when I moved them to chicken shed once the pop hole door had closed.
It would seem convenient that these two are happy to share a nest box leaving the other two free but in fact it doesn’t help at all as the rest of the girls want this nest box too. Sigh. That’s chickens for you!