May 27, 2020


Grandma used to say when talking about someone who was so mad that she was 'Mad as a setting hen!' and I always wondered where the saying, came from. 

I found out a few years ago having chickens. We've had a few broody hens in the past but only some of them were as mean as this one appears to be. You'll see in the quick video how aggressive one can be.

She's only protecting her eggs her babies you may say. Well, that isn't the case this one wants all the eggs period! Every last one of them including the fake one I place in another nest to entice the others to lay in a different spot.

Don't get me wrong I am thrilled that some now will even go broody and want to sit on eggs and have baby chicks. Sadly, that one basic instinct has almost entirely been bred out of the chicken breeds these days.

Today's post I'll tell you it has been a battle and I'm mad as a setting hen! 😏

Our group the Silver Campine Rooster Midnight is the only rooster I have in the pen now. He is a rare breed and I'm lucky to have him. He is small in stature for a full-size breed and very fighty, Recently I spent the entire day pulling him out of a jam. He flew out of the pen and was stuck between the fence and a building. I had to cut trees and pull him up by his feet. He has been trying to spur me recently for some reason. I've had to put him in his place! (maybe the reason they are  almost extinct.

The young black hen is a Black Minorca, another sweet but very flighty skittish chicken breed. They are very good egg layers and produce large white eggs almost daily.

The brown tan in color on the right is an Americana an Easter Egger.  She has had many feathers plucked from the top of her head and is a favorite of the rooster's. I confess she is a favorite of mine as well. She has the sweetest disposition and talks to me.  She lays beautiful eggs beautiful blue and sometimes light blue/green eggs. She is a very good layer as well.

Back to the Setting Hen

I need to go back to the beginning which was about 2 weeks ago.  I went to gather eggs and found the hen sitting/setting on all of the day's eggs. She had about 13 or 14 eggs beneath her! The day before Chuck came in with a bucket full of eggs that she was sitting on top of.

It didn't take long for me to know Yes! I have a broody hen and need new layers for next year. I then thought oh no, I don't need that many more chickens. I removed all but 5 eggs.

I wanted to move her because this is a two-story coop that would be hazardous to little baby chicks. I moved her and the egg to the little red coop on the ground. She would have no part of it and neglected the eggs totally. Running around wildly trying to get out of that pen.

Meanwhile, her twin sister circled the pen frantically!

She and her sister are Buff Minorca hens

For the life of me, I couldn't figure out why she'd do that.  Unless these were her eggs!  I put her into the other pen too. Then I just had two running around wanting to get out and no one covering the eggs!

The next morning the eggs were extremely cold the hens were acting crazy and wanted out of that pen, so I obliged them. I sadly threw the eggs away after all they had just started to put heat on them and they were just that eggs.

I let them out of the new pen.  One went back in the pen to roost and then thought better of it and went back to the two-story coop.

She is an ornery thing and is having her way in the pen she likes with everyone's eggs! Hmm, I don't think so at least everyone's eggs part!

Funny thing the next morning I found her again in the spot you see her in below.  

She took all of the newly laid eggs including the FAKE egg and put them under her! I laughed so hard.

She is prejudiced too because she left the blue egg in nest when she took the rest!  Nope, she is having no part of a blue egg!  She and the others lay white eggs.

She is bossy because I went in there yesterday and she had a black Minorca sitting on her eggs!  That hen is sweet so I didn't get pecked while retrieving extra eggs.

They are a pretty good community because I've seen two surrogate setters at different times.

Here she sits in all of her glory!

I am taking the two eggs in the middle inside for house use. 

The older hens want no part of this but stay nearby

Lady #1 a retired layer a Buff Orpington
These were tiny it seems not long ago you can read about them here

These two no longer lay but rarely when they do they are huge beautiful brown eggs!
They are having no part of these young hen's troubles and seem happier for it!
They talk to me and are still very beautiful!

Lady #2 Buff Orpington

These are some mighty flighty chickens the hens and rooster

Chuck tells me at this moment one of the black Minorcas is outside the pens. I'll have to put her back in or she won't survive the night out here!

I'll leave you today with a video of today removing two eggs from under her.

I guess I'll keep a check on her daily and on the 18th day on will really be vigilant because some hatching may occur!  I can't wait for this to happen They will have to be moved then into the other pen for their safety.  Hopefully she will be glad to be with them then!

Wish me luck!
I'll keep you informed on the happenings and births!

Until next time...

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