I'm reading my posts over the last week or so and I tell you, I've whined so damn much that even I'M disgusted with myself. So. Let us speak of chickens and imaginary eggs.
This summer, as I was contentedly perusing Craigslist, something I should never be allowed to do when my bank account balance exceeds $50.00, I noticed an ad in the Farm & Garden section for a pet chicken. As she was an almost carbon copy of my adorable little Penny Hen, I immediately called the owner and asked if she was still available. She was. So the next day after work, I stopped on my way home and added yet one more animal to my little farm. Because obviously I need more animals.
Cin-Cin (short for Cinnamon) is a very friendly little banty hen, and she was lonely at her old house because there weren't any other chickens. I was hoping that she would find a life of happy companionship with my two girls, Penny and Indigo, but alas, it was not meant to be. The other two hens took one look at the new girl on the block and BALLISTIC. It was worse than Mean Girls. For the two days I tried to coop Cin-Cin with the other hens, they beat the crap out of her every time she so much as MOVED. I felt so sorry for her I invited her to move into my feed room, which offer she took me up on immediately and picked my saddle rack as her perch. Which means I have to buy another saddle rack. For my saddle so my $5 chicken can use my other one. Le sigh.
Up until two weeks ago, Cin-Cin perched on my saddle rack every night and laid an egg in my hay every day. She's also a friendly chicken, one you can pick up and carry around, unlike my other two, so of course I've become attached to her.
About two weeks ago, I went in to say goodnight to her after putting the horses up and could not see her. I went over to her traditional laying spot, and there she was, on the nest. I picked her up and there were two eggs under her, which she clearly wanted to get back on top of. Yup, she'd gone broody. I took one of the two eggs, figuring I'd let her keep one and hatch it if she could. For about a week and a half she faithfully sat on that egg. Then one day last week I went out and she'd moved. She was still sitting, but the egg wasn't under her, it was still in her old nest. I don't know why she moved, but I picked up the egg to check it, and you know it was stone cold.
Now I was torn. Put the egg back and let her sit on it until it gets stinky? Or take the egg and hope she decides to go live the life of a spoiled chicken again?
Have you ever smelled a rotten egg? No? Lucky you. I took the egg and got rid of it.
A week and a half later? Cin Cin is still sitting on that damned nest. On nothing. Nada. NO EGG. Brooding her little heart out for all the world as if she were sitting on ten damn eggs. Every day, to her protest, I pick her up off the nest and carry her over to the waterer and the feeder, where she eats and talks to me. As soon as she's done? Back on that empty nest.
Either my bird has gone whack-a-doodle and thinks she's sitting on eggs that do not, in fact, exist, or she's involved in an elaborate form of chicken mime, in which case the entertainment value totally escapes me.
What's even worse is that I'm not even a little bit close to being as dedicated a mother to my real children, who walk and breathe and eat, as that hen is to her imaginary eggs. Not. even. close.
Also, if anyone has any ideas about how I get her to abandon the imaginary eggs and get a life again, I'm open to suggestions.