Shadow, a sweet little bantam hen, is broody again. She’s feathered her nest and is sitting on a clutch of ten eggs. She hatched her first babies back in May.

broody hen, round two

My best guess is that she’s been on the nest for about ten days now. She’s such a gentle girl, that when I pushed her off the nest to count eggs, she chittered at me, but didn’t peck. As soon as I backed off she started tucking her eggs back underneath her.

Yesterday when I checked, Shadow was taking a break, and Saltie, another bantam hen, was sitting in her spot. Probably adding to the clutch. I don’t know what we’re going to do if many of these eggs hatch. Things are already getting crowded in the Banty B&B, but I don’t have the heart to stop her. She’s such a good chicky mama.

On another note, the fox is back. In all likelihood he never left – I just haven’t seem him lately. I spied him last night crossing the drive as I was heading out to take Hannah and her friend into town. The ducks and chickens were safely tucked away for the night. They free range during the day and I was leery about letting them out this morning on the heels of the fox sighting. Ultimately, I did and we had a peaceful day. Keep your fingers crossed!

Note: A few weeks after this post, Shadow hatched one baby chick. The chick didn’t make it through the night. The temperatures were bitterly cold and she was sitting on so many eggs. When the baby didn’t make it, I pulled the rest of the eggs from the nest. Shadow almost seemed happy that she was relieved from duty! I don’t think I’ll let her sit on eggs this late in the year again. Live and learn!