My sad news is that my broody hen has abandoned her nest! I've never had a Buff Orpington do that before. They are usually champions at brooding and mothering. I don't know if it was the nest shuffle, the other hens, or what, but I suppose it falls under my category of a first time for everything. Ordinarily I wouldn't mind, but I have 16 Black Australorp chicks ordered to be ready for pickup at the end of the week! I suppose I'll have to dust off the ol' brooder lamp.
One other thing I did recently, was deciding to not let them out to free range so early in the morning. I'm not getting a whole lot of eggs from my flock of older hens, and was getting tired of having to hunt all over for those few. Since we enlarged their yard when we opened the new coop, I figured they could stay in the yard until later in the morning. I hoped I'd get more eggs in the nest boxes. Instead, egg production dropped to about three per day for 15 hens. Good thing I have replacements on the way.
The other day I was on my way into the coop to fill their feeder, when I saw one of my Speckled Sussex crawl out from under the nest boxes. Aha!
Could it be that my broody hen had simply moved? Alas no. There is apparently just a waiting line for this most prized new spot.
My haul was nineteen eggs and all of them were still good. Quiche, anyone?