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Tuesday, February 13, 2018

Maggie Is Brooding

A hen lays an egg every day. Sometimes, she needs 2 days to produce an egg. Maggie laid 9 eggs over a period of 14 days. Yet, all her chicks will hatch together. How does that happen? I was quite bemused by this.

A fertilised egg is a life in suspended animation. The embryo within does not begin to develop until the conditions are right. There must be the right temperature and the right humidity. Maggie laid an egg a day over 14 days and she ignored them completely. It has been a very long 14 days for me because I was not confident that my silly young hen knew how to be a mother. I saw her sit awhile on the eggs and then run off.  Whilst Max moved sedately and with dignity, Maggie rushed all over the garden like Quicksilver the X-Man, but chicken style. I felt like forcibly picking her up and making her sit still on her eggs.

"Hey! You are a mother now. Stop acting disco or boom box age! Get serious!"

Finally, after her 9th egg, Maggie turned serious. She is now brooding in earnest. I am looking forwards to at least some chicks 21 days from now. I do hope something hatches. I haven't been able to catch Max and Maggie copulating (and believe me, I have tried to look out for them copulating) so I am not even sure if the eggs are fertilised. 

I am keeping my fingers crossed.


9 eggs.


Finally, a good mother hen.

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