Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Mommy Potential

It's happening again.  Ginger is broody.  The one thing I will say about the girl is that she picks interesting places to nest.  Last year, she picked here.  This year, she picked the front of the house, right under our bedroom windows. 

I think she's trying to tell us something.  Could it be "go away?"  She's so hard to read sometimes....
It's actually a pretty good spot, all things considered, because even though it's not in the damn nest boxes in the waterfowl yard that she's supposed to use, it's at least where I can hear if there's a problem with a predator.

She did her normal Ginger thing just like last year.  Lay and egg here, lay and egg there, made beautiful nests that got ruined, until finally she happen upon a spot where no one bothered her and then she layed and layed and layed.  Then she pulled out her feathers and down, made a beautiful nest and sat.  Unfortunately, there's not a single one of her eggs under her.  Every time she layed, I took her egg and replaced it with something.  First, a wiffle ball (that's all I had), then to a bunch of leftover large Easter eggs.  Why?  Well, poor Ginger, because of the wing injury that she sustained, she's disfigured in the gaggle's eyes and no one will mate her.   None of her eggs would be fertile, and she'd just be sitting for no reason again.  I figured if she wasn't serious, then a wiffle ball and some Easter eggs would be none the worse for wear.  But she is serious, so I added 4 duck eggs to her nest.  The ducks are mating like crazy, so that should go better for her (I hope).  And anyway, I don't need anymore geese.

She started setting on the 16th, a full month earlier than last year.  She's since ejected every Easter egg except for the yellow one and the green one--I guess she likes the colors?  She's setting on 4 duck eggs, 2 Easter eggs, and of course, a wiffle ball (which, by the way, she's never seemed to question).  Time will tell what happens here.  When she gets up this weekend, I will candle the four eggs and see.  I'm crossing my fingers again this time, just because I'd love to see what kind of mama she is.  She seems to want it so badly, and I want it for her.  Send her some good thoughts, will you please?

On the mama to be list as well is this little trollop:

It's totally our fault, even though she has loose morals.  We kept meaning to have her spayed, but every time we got the money together, it wound up needing to go somewhere else.  And so Ellie's in a "family way".  She may not look it here, but she's round.  My guess (and it's totally a guess, as I did not witness the actual event) is that she's due around Easter.  That's about 6 weeks from the time I noticed her pinking up.  According to everywhere I looked, that happens 3 weeks into it, so she'd have 6 weeks left to go. 
I'd like to say I'm sorry that it happened and I feel terrible, but I don't.  Ellie is an AMAZING mouser.  She can catch them damn near in mid air, and she's still mousing even in her condition.  We have had no mice in the house this winter, and I find carcasses almost every day.  She puts her brother Dave to shame.  He's such a slacker and would rather sleep with the Meatballs than catch mice.  So if she can produce another mouser with as much talent as she has, I am a very happy farmer.  However, she WILL be spayed after this.  We don't need 8 million cats, mousers or no.
That's about it on the mommy front.  I thought I had a broody hen the other night, because she was in a nest box when everyone else was perched and she growled at me when I went to check what she was sitting on, but it turned out to be a false alarm.  She gave up the next morning, and I threw her eggs away.

Ah Spring.  It's definitely here.  Enjoy it, everyone!  It's gonna be beautiful.
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  1. Great post! Our goose is putting together a nest, too. Lucky for us, she consented to use the hutch my husband built for just such an occasion. And as far as Ellie is concerned, isn't it amazing to watch them hunt?! When our barn cat had a litter, she would drop huge grasshoppers in front of the 3 wk old kittens to teach them. Can't beat a good mouser!

  2. Can't wait to see what kind of mom she is for ducklings. lol at the whiffle ball

  3. Trollop is such a harsh word - she's just doin' what comes natcherly...you obviously forgot to have "the talk"!!

  4. love your post! I have to stay away from the co op so I don't buy anymore baby chicks! I love them soooo! so I ended up with 26 but previous I had eight hens so all together have 26.....=) ha!


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