Two broody girls and nest box shenanigans

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.

Marmite wants to join the broody girls

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.

Marmite gives up and leaves the nest box

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.

Ebony and Flame share the nest box

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 would like to share with Smoke

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.

Marmite decides it is better to share with 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.

Smoke and Flame resume their usual position of sharing a broody nest box.

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!

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8 Responses to Two broody girls and nest box shenanigans

  1. Sophie says:

    Oh dear broody shenanigans again!! Marmite just go and use another nest box!! xx

  2. Carol says:

    I know! The third nest box was empty and no interest is shown in that one. I don’t know why Marmite has to be in an occupied nest box even if she isn’t welcome. Marmite is such an expressive girl. If you look at the photos of her again I can see in her eye and her posture on the ramp that she wants to be in there and she looks down trodden then in the next photo next to Flame I can see in her eye the satisfaction of being in there, almost a “look at me” look. xx

  3. Sophie says:

    You absolutely can!!! 🙂 xx

  4. marion says:

    They do look cute, three in the nest box together.

  5. david says:

    They are so very funny. I never tire of observing them. Blackie and Butterscotch, both broody together, are sharing a nest box and tonight I’m going to move them onto hatching eggs together. The penultimate photo of Marmite next to Flame is almost comical – it’s like David and Goliath, except that Flame has the gentlest of natures!

    • Carol says:

      They are funny and they so have their different personalities. Smoke and Ebony are both intolerant and angry girls when it comes to other girls but Flame is so placid and tolerant of bigger or smaller girls. Flame is totally accepting of all girls sharing and even when broody she shows no anger at all.

      Good luck with the hatching eggs. I will be very interested to see how it goes.

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