Broodies and dust bathing

Yesterday Smoke went broody, four days, after Sugar. Smoke has laid ten eggs in thirteen days. That is two more eggs in two more days than Sugar. These girls are both serial broodies!

Salmon, Spangle and Shadow are all taking a break from laying. With Sugar and now Smoke out of lay we only have Ebony and Flame laying. It is eight days since Shadow last laid, ten days since Spangle last laid and eleven days since Salmon last laid.

I am now just lifting Sugar every time I go in to the chicken run like I do with Smoke. Sugar has now settled into a more normal way of being broody so I hope that she won’t need to go in the broody crate.

Sugar now accepts being lifted from the nest box and stays out long enough to have water, food and a dust bath instead of just rushing straight back in. The other change is that she is accepting me putting her on the perch at bedtime instead of dropping down to the corner of the shed floor.

As long as Sugar doesn’t go on beyond a normal time of being broody I am hopeful that this will be enough. I am hoping that she has mellowed into being a normal broody rather than being obsessive to the point of starving herself to sit all the time.

Yesterday afternoon Salmon, Spangle and Shadow were dust bathing in a patch of sun. I lifted Sugar and Smoke from the nest box for a break and they joined the other little girls in the dust bath.

It was so lovely to see them all dust bathing together that I fetched my camera. Flame was dust bathing a bit further along and it was only Ebony that didn’t join in and was strolling on the other side of the dividing wire.

A row of dust bathing girls
Smoke playing headless chicken and Salmon laying on an outstretched wing
They are enjoying communal dust bathing
They love a good dust bath in the sun

I love to see the girls dust bathing together. In the past Sugar would have gone straight back to the nest box within seconds but she seems much more chilled now.

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6 Responses to Broodies and dust bathing

  1. marion says:

    They look very happy girls.

  2. David says:

    The broodiness seems a bit more ‘sedate’ than sometimes; at this stage in the year, it might be their last time, if they go straight into a moult??

    • Carol says:

      You never know with these two, never say never! Eggs are a bit thin on the ground at the moment. The girls seem to be in a bit of a lull. I have just looked back at last year and Smoke laid all the way through winter but also went broody just the same as ever, at the end of November through beginning of December, laying again half way through December with her next broody spell half way through January. Time of year seems to mean nothing to Smoke. It will be interesting to see if Sugar is the same.

  3. Sophie says:

    Always lovely to see the girls dust-bathing! xx

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