...sometimes even a single feather is enough to fly. (Robert Maclean)


broody hen + duck eggs = ?

Our Buff Orpington hen has been broody for weeks now.
Buffs are notoriously broody breeds, and that's great if you have a rooster 
and want to hatch chicks regularly. 
But we don't have a rooster.
These eggs will only ever hatch if there's such a thing as immaculate eggception.
We were at a loss for what to do with our sweet little broody hen, and we kind of feel badly for her...
She wants to hatch something so badly, you can just feel it!
She's plucked out all of her chest feathers.
I guess one of the reasons they do this is because with the closer skin contact against the eggs,
it keeps the eggs warmer.
Needless to say, she's very devoted to her cause. 
 We worry about her being broody for so long...
My partner goes out to pry her off her nest every day to make sure she gets a little exercise, and some food and water because otherwise she just broods and broods the days away. 
 Whenever one of the other girls lays an egg somewhere in the coop,
she will take her beak and roll it all the way over to her special nest. 
She had almost a dozen eggs under her today! 

So, today we performed a great switcher-oo on her...
We took her off her nest, and put her outside. 

Then we collected all of the unfertile chicken eggs she had been sitting on and...  

 replaced them with fertile DUCK EGGS!!!

And then our little wanna-be-mamma went right back onto her nest!
I wonder if she could tell the difference?
Did she think, "Hmmm... my eggs look a little funny?  They smell a little different..."
It didn't seem to phase her one bit.
This probably sounds like a crazy broody adventure we're embarking on,
so we'll just have to wait and see what happens... (er, hatches). 
The lady who brought us the duck eggs
said that she's had other people do this before for her, and it works out great...
She said duck eggs are hard to hatch in an incubator,
and that broody hens seem to be one of the best ways to bring ducks into the world. 
Low and behold, the eggs she gave us are Buff Orpington duck eggs! 
It will take about 28 days, so stay tuned.
In exchange for our hen's brooding services,
we're allowed to keep half of the ducklings if we (or our hen) want to.
Maybe we should call them chi-ducklings!

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