Drucilla is my bantam Silky chiken. Anyone who knows chickens will know that Silky's hold the world record for broodiness. Drew can spend up to 6 weeks at a time sitting on an imaginary egg. These periods call for special attention, otherwise she would not move to eat or drink. I think we've been quite creative in our methods of shaking her out of it. For example, taking her for a run around the block in the car seems to work. Throwing her out of the hen house and shutting everything so she can't get back in has some effect, as does not letting her go to bed until after dark.
Last weekend we decided to have a move around in Drew and Harmony's enclosure, including changing the position of the chicken house. Harmony was truely facinated and extremely (un)helpful as ever. Drew though was in mid brood on her usual imaginary egg and had no intention of leaving the house.
We figured we might as well leave her in there whilst we spring cleaned, so we closed the chicken house door and carefully moved it with her still inside. Oops.
Now Drew does regularly feel it is her task to take on the role of cockeral on Sunday mornings. She climbs up onto a rock in the enclosure and starts to give it her best cockadoodledoo, (strange from a chicken but she's actually not bad at it). I know from this that little Drew can kick up a volume, but really.......who knew chickens could shriek their way through the sound barrier???
When we were done I encouraged to come out of the house. She got to the door way, slowley looked around and the shrieking began! All my attempts to get her to shut up failed. Harmony ran into a corner and there she stayed looking from Drew to me and back. The volume was enough to bring one of the neighbours across the road out to see what on earth was happening.
Drew by now had stomped down the new gangplank to her doorway and was inspecting every edge of the enclosure, checking where her rock was, having a quick peck in various bowls to check the whereabouts of her food, grit and water, staring into the dirt bath bowl and sharpening her beak on each of the logs that are around for them to climb up and perch on.
I always feel a little uncomfortable when either of the chickens pointedly sharpen their beaks at me!
Having shrieked continuously whilst carrying out her inspection, she finally stomped back up the gangplank, still shrieking until she dissapeared indoors and, at last, it went quiet.
Only then did Harmony shake her feathers and come out of her corner to stand by me and give me a long look that seemed to ask "What was all that about then Big Chicken?"
I guess the moral to this episode has to be, never change anything without asking Drew first.