Friday, July 15, 2016

Bees and Chicken Drama

They were predicting a milder day today with a high in the lower 80's and a humidity level around 50 or 60%.  Considering that's about 10 degrees cooler and 40% or so below what it has been I decided to start getting the bee hives back into shape.

I made it about halfway through the total hives. Got the three down at the orchard and the four at the garden apiary but didn't touch the other eight in the back of the hay field. Wait that's only 15 hives I am missing one. Maybe there are nine down in the hay field? I really have lost count this year to be honest since I sold a couple but then caught a few more swarms.

Anyway I only took about half the honey I could see on the producing hives which amounted to four out of the seven. The other three were last years swarms or splits that need to build up a bit more. I ended up with two full supers full of capped frames so far. We will see what I get from the others on Sunday since I won't be able to do anything tomorrow.

While I was putting the bee stuff away it occurred to me that we had decided someone needed to move that broody hen off the nest. She has been sitting there longer than she is suppose to for incubation and I suspected either the eggs she had were not fertilized or there was some other problem.

The truth is I should have moved her when I was first told she was broody but that was in the middle of the crazy, lying, back hurt co-worker overtime work schedule I got hit with unexpectedly. I also wasn't told about it until she had been on the nest about a week already, so I kinda hoped my mother would deal with it. I should have known better actually she is pretty good about keeping the water tanks full and birthing lambs but that's about it.

So since I had my bee suit on and gloves I decided now was the time.

Man was that hen pissed. She actually had hatched a chick but it had died. Apparently I was just in time to catch it before the poor thing started decaying. Not sure about the other four eggs under her and I am not sure I want to know. Chalk this whole experience up to lax chicken care and amateur hour I guess. Not that we are geared up for baby chick raising anyway so the end result would have been the same regardless I imagine.

Anyway the hen was pecking me like crazy and screaming bloody murder. I got her out of the coop and closed the door which will keep her from getting back on that nest for a few hours anyway and give me time to clean the dead chick and eggs out. She has been broody now for almost a month and it's got to be causing her some serious physical stress so hopefully this will break her out of it and life can go on.

Maybe next time she goes broody I will be more prepared for it. I have plans to build a brooding cage and pen but I just haven't gotten to it yet.

Keep Prepping Everyone!!!!!!


  1. Our broody hen hatched 2 of 8, the others weren't fertile by the way they broke when I threw them in the field. She is too old to lay so her job is hatching replacements. Not sure how good our rooster is, not hitting the target from what I have seen over the last couple of years but he behaves himself at least. She doesn't peck me as she is in her own area and is use to me giving her food and water.

  2. In past years we have tried to look after broody hens but have not have had a lot of success. This year we didn't know we had broodies until they appeared with large clutches of healthy chicks!

  3. we just have a small house and pen and put a broody in there with her eggs otherwise she will pinch all the eggs as they are laid, we have 10 new additions to the flock this year and yesterday another broody but we are not hatching anymore, I am going to set her up in a cooling off cage to get her out of it.

  4. Nothing to raising baby chicks, PP. Thens do all the work...

  5. My rooster never got the job done to give us any fertile eggs. : (

    I think I will just buy chicks from the feed store...

  6. I have one that has been broody for weeks now. I take the eggs from her everyday but luckily she isn't aggressive about it.


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