The Morning Growl

Every morning upon entering the coop I'm greeted by 14 happy chattering hens and 1 growler.

The 1 pound {when soaking wet} bad-ass growling hen is Little Lizzie.

She has an excuse for the growl, however.  She's broody.

Broodiness is now bred out of many breeds of chickens.  Heritage breeds, however, may still have the natural instinct.  Lizzie is a heritage breed - Araucana.

It's in Lizzie's genes to be broody.  It's not, however, in her genes to hatch and raise chicks.  You may recall we gave that a try a couple of years ago and it was a colossal failure.

When the little chicks started peeping she looked at me, completely distraught, as if to say "you want me to do what????"

She shrieked, hissed, growled and pecked at the poor confused chicks all while trying desperately to kick them {literally} out of the nesting box.
It was downright ugly.

Our beloved Mama Claire {also an Araucana} ended up raising them.
She hatched and raised all our chicks for us while she was alive.
She was the best!

After I moved them to Mama Claire's nesting box, which was next to Lizzie's box, Lizzie was angered again by the happy chirping of the chicks as Mama Claire cooed and lovingly pushed them underneath her.  She went into her shrieking and hissing antics again until the fuzzy little things settled.   I know it's hard to believe that you can see anger and distress on a chicken's face, but trust me, it was something else.

So, unfortunately, Lizzie's broodiness is of no help to us.
Yes, we could kick her out of the nesting box and force her to become un-broody.
But she enjoys it. {we remove the eggs from under her daily}

So, I'll continue to declare a cheerful "good morning Lizzie!" upon entering the coop and wait for the familiar growl back.

Sharing at the Maple Hill Hop!

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September Violets said...

Poor confused Little Lizzie! I hope she doesn't peck at you when you take her eggs. Time to get another hen like Claire to help you out ;) Wendy x

traci said...

We got our chickens in late March so no laying yet but I do have 3 Araucana's so this is good to know. Have a great day!!

Staci at Life At Cobble Hill Farm said...

Thanks Wendy and yes, she definitely pecks but it doesn't hurt. :)
Traci - it's very handy when you want them to be your egg incubator!!

sophie said...

I wondered about Lizzie. Isn't she the one the mean girls made her look so pitiful.
So, she stays in a perpetual bad mood. I guess she doesn't have a lot of chicken friends!
Gus' Mom

daisy g said...

She's teaching lessons in her own way. ;0)

Liz said...

She actually looks like she is scowling! lol...

Staci at Life At Cobble Hill Farm said...

Sophie - great memory! Yes, she is one who the mean girls picked on. :) Daisy - it seems so, doesn't it? Liz, I think she is too although she's pretty easy going so it doesn't last long.

Joan Hobbs said...

Rapunzel, my Black Copper Maran, is my third broody hen and a total success! She hatched out one egg and then I snuck three chicks I got in the mail under her and she took those too! My girl Aretha was not so maternal - she kicked all of her chicks out of the nest. Good luck!

Rachel said...

LOL this was cute. I'm searching around for broody info because I have my first ever broody hen- and no fertile eggs for her to sit on! So I'm on a mission to find some, and see what happens. I never thought about a broody hen losing their motherly instincts once the chicks are hatched.... yikes lol! Thanks for sharing :)