Monday, July 06, 2009

Broody Business

Petunia is persisting in her quest to become a mama chicken and won't get out of the nesting box without force. We're gathering eggs more often and taking her out a couple times a day to help. She will wander about with the other ladies for a bit, only to return to her box. Yesterday, I found her sitting sadly in the coop run (in the rain) and was happy she was out, but when I checked the nesting box I saw Chick Pea doing her thing and realized that Petunia was just pushed aside momentarily. She's got it so bad that we're calling her Looney Tunie. She's not a happy chicken.

Another distressing effect of her broodiness is that she isn't laying. I wasn't sure how to confirm this, but informal egg polls seem to indicate that we are getting fewer of the bigger eggs that Marigold and Petunia are known for. She even looks different - not only is she even bigger (all that snacking and no exercise - as if I needed another visual reminder!) - but her comb has changed color. That confirms it - she's no longer laying.

Here is Petunia on the 4th of July:


And here is Marigold:


Can you see how Marigold's comb is a much brighter red? My very smart father-in-law pointed out that trait to me.

I was trying to get a picture of them together to illustrate the difference and I thought that the feeder was a good focal point. Just look at Marigold's comb shoved up in the feeder:


Petunia is on the right, but it's not so easy to tell the difference in the comb colors.

And here's another attempt:


It just looks like they are posing for the chicken equivalent of Town & Country. Petunia is in the front and Marigold is the rear. Chick Pea is just butting in to be a ham. Beats being BBQ!

And this concludes comb class...



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12 Comments:

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Oh dear. So what does that mean for poor Petunia? The questions are racing through my concerned mind. Is she sick? Will she start laying again? Is she allowed to hang around the farm as a non-productive member of the team? The title of the post does say "business."

 
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