For twenty three and a half hours of every day Wincey sits on her eggs. Spreading her body, covering the entirety of the potential life underneath her.
But there is a golden half hour. Thirty minutes of freedom. Wincey will come out of her coop, and I’ll close the door behind her so the other chickens don’t get inquisitive, and proceed to enjoy herself.
She’ll stretch, spend ages having a dust bath in the sunshine, preen, scratch, flap her wings, shake the dust out of her feathers, peck at some grass, eat some layers pellets, have a drink, flap and stretch again, until, finally, she heads back into the coop to sit on the eggs once more.
The other chickens aren’t that fussed. Unless she’s in their dust bath. Then she’ll get pecked so she has to leave. This morning I closed her into the dust-bathing area; protecting her from unwanted attention.
Wincey is actually at the bottom of the pecking order. She was before she became broody and this hasn’t changed. She will puff herself up if the chickens come close to her, and she has pecked my hand when I got too close to her eggs, but she isn’t vicious and she soon runs away from the other chickens.
At the end of the mini-film you’ll see an identical chicken looking at her from the other side of the run. This is her sister, Barbara Mark 3. They were both chicks together last year and she had come to say hello. I think she misses her.
Ten days done. Eleven to go.
Music: “Wildflowers” by Yusuke Tsutsumi
Want to see the moment we put the eggs underneath her? This is here: Broody Chicken Watch.