>Gay Hens and Fertile Eggs
Not gay… I’m thinking they are just… Old.
The Summer, one of the hens wanted to sit on some eggs so Mrs. G decided to let her. She accumulated about a dozen over a week. By that I mean that we stopped gathering them to take indoors to eat and the other hens would lay eggs in *her* nest.
“Awww that’s cute, she wants to be a mother hen again”.
She stayed on that nest for over a month. She would get off briefly to drink and eat but mostly she was on the eggs. She had so many eggs that she couldn’t cover them all with her feathers.
Finally we decided to check the eggs and see what was going on inside.
“How do you do that?”, I hear you city slickers ask.
Just like in the Olden Tymes, you “Candle” them. You go into a dark room and hold each egg up to a candle. You can pretty much see that there’s something inside. When I say Candle, I mean my Surefire ™ zillion candlepower Stagehand flashlight. If there *are* any chicks inside, it will be the equivalent of a Flashbang grenade. Anyway after careful inspection we declared none of the eggs were fertile.
On a sidenote, in the past we have found clutches of eggs, hidden in various parts of the yard. We let our chickens “free range”. They wander all over the yard, eating bugs and weeds (and flowers). They tend to stay on our property because I have fitted them with little tiny shock collars that give them mild Tingles ™ if they try to go over to Bud-The-Neighbor’s house. When I say Tingles I mean that they drop on the ground and do Grand Mal Breakdancing.
OK, I made the collar thing up.
But seriously, if they are outside with the flock and feel the urge to lay an egg, they won’t run a hundred yards back to the chicken coop and lay it there so *we* can find it. Oh no, that’s too much trouble. They have established hidden emergency nests at various strategic places around the yard. Sort of the same rationale as Porta Potties at a soccer game. When you gotta go, you gotta go.
The trouble with their hidden nest plan is that *We*, the fools that provide Food, Water, Shelter and Clothing, have to hunt for the eggs. It’s like a perpetual Easter Egg Hunt, with Expert egg stashers.
Once we couldn’t find the stash for over a week. When we finally found it, there were about 26 eggs in it. You’re thinking, “What’s the big deal? Take them inside and put them in the fridge.”
Imagine two dozen eggs.
Sitting in the Summer Heat.
For 10 days.
If you crack one open, it smells like, well, rotten eggs. I dropped one accidentally and when I examined it I could see a chick embryo inside. Looking closer I could see it’s little heart beat… beat… beat. and then it stopped.
I don’t mind telling you, that made me sad.
Where was I? Oh yeah, not-gay chickens.
After ‘candling’ all the eggs and determining that our rooster was shooting blanks, we put them in a ziploc bag and carefully put them in the garbage. Then we told Bonnie, the hen, to quit sitting around and go party with the rest of the flock. The trouble was, she had been sitting on those sterile eggs for so long that it messed up one of her legs. You know how if you sit on your leg too long and it goes to sleep? You try to get up and you can hardly walk. That’s what happened to that hen, only it looks like it’s permanent. She hops around like
Mrs. Peel at Homecoming a Pirate extra in a Johnny Depp movie.
So I don’t think the hens are gay, just old.
I’m not too sure about the Rooster though.