[Gladys up top, the little flock down below. Next time, I shall strive to take photos after I scrub the waterer.]
Just before we left on vacation, I noticed that Gladys was holed up in the chicken coop. Jealously sitting on eggs, puffing up in anger when anyone came near--Gladys was brooding.
I loved watching her raise her chicks last year, and wanted to do it again. So I planned to let her sit for about three weeks (egg gestation takes close to 21 days), and then find her some day-old chicks to mother.
But--with the cold spring we've had--Ms. Gladys's broody period is a little late this year. While finding day-old chicks in April was easy, finding them in June has been much harder. After a lot of calling, I finally got a lead on a few, but learned they would only be available at a very specific time, a half an hour away, last Saturday afternoon. We had a full weekend planned, and the thought of dropping everything at that exact moment was stressing me out.
And then there was the issue of the chicks we already have. They aren't really chicks anymore, and it's about time for them to start living with the big girls. We've "merged our flocks" before without much fuss, but doing it with an angry mama hen around seemed like trouble.
I may have decided to deal with the trouble if I could focus my attention on it, but, alas, some day-job stuff this week is demanding my full concentration. After talking pros and cons with Sweet Husband for a bit, we decided that chicks aren't a good idea for us right now.
It remains to convey that decision to Ms. Stubborn...err, I mean, Gladys. She hasn't been happy about it, but the past few days we've simply locked her out of the coop. She can't nest if she can't get to the nest, yes?
She's been out with the little flock, instead. They've all been ignoring each other so far, which is the idea. I'm hopeful that a few days in the sunshine will put this motherhood idea out of her head, so that she can get back to laying eggs.
[P.S. Speaking of eggs, I was happy to have a photo selected as a "color feature" on the Malabrigo Yarn blog today. Now I know exactly what colors to use for my next knitting project!]