I think I’m Broody.

I have to admit (knock on wood) everything has gone extremely well with my chickens.  They are happy, content and growing, they’re an endless source of amusement for me, and according to my husband, I’ve done my part for stimulating the economy by spending far too much on their coop decorations.  I’ve been patiently (lie) waiting for them to lay eggs and I’m beginning to see signs that they’re maturing.  The pullets are growing wattles and combs and they’ve gone from a pale yellow to pink and are beginning to turn red.  I’ve been creeping around in the coop using my phone’s flashlight app checking every corner for eggs…I know its way too early at 14 weeks, but I’m so afraid I’m going to miss that first egg and find it later after Vinnie has used it for a soccer ball and smashed it to bits.  I have this big “FIRST EGG” party planned with a cake…not for the chickens, but for us.  Basically, I’ll use any excuse to order a bakery cake.  I want to have “WELCOME FIRST EGG!” written on the cake in frosting.  C’mon.  It’s a great idea and you know it…and hey…CAKE.

brown eggObviously, I haven’t found any eggs yet.  Believe me, you’ll know about it when I do find the first one.  In fact, I haven’t even put the nesting boxes in the coop because I don’t want that fool Vinnie to set up camp in one of them and make it his swinging bachelor pad.  I’m also lusting over some unfinished fruit crates that I saw at a local fabric and craft store and of course I think I need them.  Tom has pointed out that I have nesting boxes that are perfectly fine.  I told him that these look WAY more cool and my plan was to paint them and distress them and do some hand painted vines and flowers on them.  I mean, egg laying is a big deal for a hen!  If I had a beautiful bed to ovulate in, I think I’d be much less crabby when it happens.  Obviously, I’m just trying to make their experience just a bit nicer.  He thinks that’s nuts.  It probably is, but I still want those fruit crates!  It gives me something to obsess about, because obsessing about things is one of my best skills.

I feel like my chickens are all grown up now.  Getting ready to lay eggs, Cluck said “Rootadoodadoo” the other day, Vinnie is..well, still Vinnie, but other than that, I sort of feel like an empty nester. I find myself looking at incubators and hatching eggs and chicks for sale for hours on the internet.  Last month, the Buff Orpington Rooster Brothers left for their new home, leaving me with ten chickens instead of my original twelve.  Since that time, I’ve been restless for more chickens.  I’ve also become a bit of a chicken snob, because now just any chicken won’t do.  I want SPECIFIC types of chickens that I can nurture and raise and maybe even BREED.

I’m broody.

So, I started to campaign for more chickens.

And Tom said “NO”.

I talked myself out of an incubator and eggs and started looking for pullets that are about the same age for what I thought would be an easier integration for the flock. (Obviously, I took his “NO” seriously.)  However, I’ve read that shipping charges for two pullets can be around $80.  I only want two pullets, but I want Blue or Lavender Orpingtons which are pricey to begin with, and I did the math for the price of the birds and the shipping and if I ordered them and paid what it would cost and Tom found out what I spent, they’d better be gold-plated too or I was going to create some issues around the homestead.   Then there is the whole quarantine issue and I really don’t have space for that and it means that Tom would have to construct another pen and area for them to hang out so that they wouldn’t be near our original flock.  Then I started worrying about shipping chickens in the mail and if the post office mangles a box from an Etsy seller, what were the possibilities that my chickens would arrive safely and not in a crumpled box that says FRAGILE on it?

guitar tom

Tom has been drooling over a 12 string Breedlove guitar. We’re sort of music freaks.   Greg and Tom both love to play the guitar and I have a mandolin that I TELL people that I play but truthfully hasn’t been out of the case for about a month…or so.  We think we’re a band.  Originally, I called the band “Electric Bacon”, but recently thought I wanted to change it to “CHICKEN SWARM”.  I think it has a nice ring to it.  Anyway,  one day, Tom mentioned that he’d found the guitar that he REALLY, REALLY wanted on Ebay…brand new for a really reasonable price…and he had this big plan about how he could order it and put it on the credit card and then we’d pay it off at the end of the month when we get paid.  The plan sounded reasonable, but we always check with each other on large purchases.  I agreed with the plan and he bid on the guitar and he won it for a significantly lower price than it retails for.  I told him “Happy Father’s Day” when he received it from UPS and he’s been a happy clam ever since, although I’ve had to mop up some drool from Greg because it really is a beautiful instrument.

I have an ulterior motive, of course.

After the guitar arrived, I ramped up the campaign for more chickens.  Every time I have the opportunity, I show Tom a picture of an Orpington.  If we’re standing out by the chicken run, I point out that we could use a couple more hens since we have two roosters.  I’ve mentioned 2,345 times that blue or lavender Orpingtons are beautiful and friendly.  The other day, during a very sweet moment, Tom told me that there was no way he could tell me how much he loves me.  I said that chickens make a lovely gift.

I was laying on the sofa with my laptop searching for pullets last night.  There are simply none in this area that fit what I want.  I started talking about driving to  pick them up, blah-blah-blah, and that’s when Tom played his broody breaking card and said that if I hatched them myself I’d be their mama from day one and I wouldn’t have to worry about quarantine stuff…OR I could wait until one of my own got broody and shove some purchased Orpington eggs under her and let HER hatch them. My broody brain screeched to a halt.   I excitedly ranted on and on about hatch rates and incubators and percentages of males to females.  I sort of liked the idea of “fresh chickens” that no one had ever owned before…you know, none of those USED chickens.  Pretty soon, I had made the decision to wait until I see how many eggs this group lays and if we will even be able to use them all and then I started to get excited about waiting and hatching breeds I wanted from hatching eggs.  By the end of the conversation, I was a broken broody…and happily.  I’ll hatch what I want, keep what I want and sell the rest.

Except you know that won’t happen…the selling part, I mean.

Because…well…I’ll have been their mama from day one and what kind of mama sells their babies?

That Breedlove guitar may have been reasonably priced…but it’s going to cost him A LOT of chickens.

 

 

4 thoughts on “I think I’m Broody.

    • OH!! That’s the breed I’m DROOLING for!!!!! I was looking for either blue or lavender pullets on line and there is just NOTHING available that I could find! They are simply gorgeous!

      • wellllll. If you can wait til next spring, I could probably sell you some hatching eggs and ship them to you! They are, hands down, my prettiest birds (and my favorites, Orpingtons are great).

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