Gotta love hens… we now have three that are convinced they’re going to be mommies… The only problem is that we don’t have a rooster! There’s one nesting box they each prefer (of course), and when we go to check for eggs, they turn into these prehistoric dinosaur creatures – puffed up feathers; hissing, clicking, and croaking; and ferally guarding those eggs, to the point that one of them has actually attacked our son Troy’s face! A kind lady at church told us where we could get fertilized eggs, and the kind lady that gave us the fertilized eggs gave us four. However, at the time, we only had two broody hens and split the potential babies between the two… and then two of the eggs broke! *sigh* We are now down to two potentially hatching eggs, with three girls vying for the opportunity to be the mommas. We’re starting to get worried that all of our “girls” are going to try to have babies! Kind of tough to do when there are no guys in the flock!
On another note, we have a Speckled Sussex (Cassidy) who has had a giant crop for months. She shows all the signs of having sour crop (sour-smelling breath, awkward neck movement, etc.), but otherwise seems to be pretty healthy and happy. We have put her in isolation before, fasted her, then gave her organic, grass-fed, plain yogurt with some success. Unfortunately, we just can’t keep doing that to the poor girl – it doesn’t seem very kind! We’ve since let her out to be with the other girls, and her crop has grown right back to its previous enormous size. We’ve thought about sending her to the gallows, but just couldn’t bring ourselves to do it! After all, she seems totally healthy (besides the crop issue).
SO… those of you with laying hens, words of wisdom? How do you deal with broodies, and do you have any tricks for dealing with sour crop? Should we butcher Cassidy?