When Our Broody Little Hen Went Missing

One of our hens (Olive) didn’t show up for roll call in the coop the other night. We looked in and around all our bushes and hedges for nearly an hour with no luck. When one of our hens doesn’t come home at night, it often means she’s broody and is sitting on a nest outside. Poor little Olive spent the night on her own, which made her easy prey for any wild critters that might be strolling for an evening meal (fox, raccoon, skunk).

The next morning, Hubby waited out by the watering can to see if Olive would come back for a quick meal and a few hasty glugs of water. He waited about thirty minutes before Olive appeared. She came running over to refuel and then went dashing back to her nest with my husband scrambling to follow her. It sounds easy to follow a little bantam hen, doesn’t it? It is not. They can dart and weave like a miniature point guard and they are gone in the blink of an eye. Luckily, he got a general idea of where she might’ve gone. Later that evening, he found her.

Our broody hen hid in the boxwood, but it took us two days to find her.

Hubby points out where he found Olive, our clever little broody hen, hiding in the boxwood.

Our broody little hen, sitting tight under the boxwood hedge. She doesn't move a muscle.

Our broody little hen, sitting tight under the boxwood hedge. See why they are so hard to find?

Broody hen, hiding.

There she is, well-hidden. She doesn’t move a feather.

I picked Olive up and brought her back to the coop, while hubby gathered her eggs. We put all nine eggs in a nice, warm, safe, clean nest. Then, all we can do is hope she continues to be broody and sits back down on her eggs.

Broody hen.

Olive and I do a selfie. (Pretty sad to admit that your chicken’s neck is looking better than your own.)

Broody bantam hen.

We put her in a nest, with her warm eggs.

I came back to the coop later that evening and found the eggs alone in their nest, and Olive back up on a high roost. The trauma of the move off her nest and into the safe coop had “broken her up,” and she had no interest in sitting any more.

Broody bantam hen.

Nine bantam chicken eggs, no chicken.

Broody bantam hen.

Olive lost interest in sitting on her nest and spent the night on the high roost while her eggs went cold.

We were so delighted to find Olive safe and sound, and were almost relieved that she decided not to sit on her eggs anymore. We have 12 chickens (roosters: Banjo, Frosty and Sylvester; hens: Olive, Marge, Ida, Lucy, Ethel, Paris, Abby, Dot, and Society) which is a good number for us right now.

These kinds of dramas make letting our chickens free-range a bit difficult some days. They’d be so much safer locked up in their coop all the time, but they so love being free.

Here are a few links from around the web I hope you enjoy:

Roasted Tomato and Sweet Onion Cheese dip. Heartstopping goodness (in more ways than one.)

I love watching dancing and it doesn’t get much better than The Nicholas Brothers tapping away in 1943’s Stormy Weather.

A fierce poem by Ellen Bass, French Chocolates, with love for all who suffer with pain, poor health and the isolation that often follows.

Do you know your significant other well enough to pass a U.S. Immigration test? Give it a try.

A Mandy Kaling interview of Billy Crystal. She asks about when Harry Met Sally, working with Rob Reiner, Nora Ephron, Meg Ryan and why she’s attracted to smart, needy Jewish men.

Growing up in Madison, Wisconsin, we often travelled by train to see our grandparents in Pennsylvania and Ohio. I have sweet memories of those trips. All these train vacations sound lovely.

Can you believe Petaluma, California was listed as the #1 fall vacation destination by Harper’s Bazaar Magazine? Check it out their other recommendations.

Happy Fall!

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