Saturday, April 11, 2009

"Hen to Set" Saga: 3

One unforeseen (and more than slightly important) problem quickly became apparent. From the start, the 6 Hennies had a definite sense of who they were and what they didn't want. They looked at Freddie as if he was some sort of kid brother. We surely must have picked the Hennies that had previously been known to reject his amorous advances. Poor Freddie was displaying to Hennies outside the coop.
Some speculation about Freddie's socialization became evident. We wonder if he is more of a People Rooster. From the beginning, he was coddled by his Human Companions, which probably was not the best of ideas. While not all the time, he seems to want to be babied especially by Melanie. Other times, he is attacking her feet. They have been known to do an interesting dance in the Chicken Yard.
Add to all of this the fact that poor Freddie is the sole Rooster among 34 Hennies. The suggested ratio for his breed is 8-12 Hennies per Rooster. The poor guy may have been a bit overwhelmed. (Please note that the Humans are telling this story. The Hennies and their Rooster would surely have their own version.)

Our greatest success in this moment has been that Lacey is broody for sure and she is making that fact known to all. She has made known that fact especially to Freddie, whom she will not let him get close.
Initially, we were also stumped by the fact that the Hennies seemed not to be laying eggs in the number expected. Possible reasons were explored: They were likely stressed with their new living situation. Plus, they are 2nd year layers and their production would be presumed to begin to drop off. A closer examination of the situation showed that the eggs were under the Broody Hen, Lacey. How did she do that?

We Humans are learning a lot. To date, our questions seem to outnumber our answers.

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