We have three broody hens now. Little Dove was the first one to go broody. One day she was missing and I searched all over for her, afraid that a predator had gotten her. I finally found her in our old hay room that now serves as a storage room. I went back later and discovered a nest full of banty eggs. We made her a better nest using a barrel filled with hay and placed all her eggs in it. The next day she went back to lay her eighth egg and she stayed on the eggs. None of her eggs were fertile since we don’t have a rooster, so I got some fertile eggs from a neighbor. She is very shy around us so we were worried how we were going to replace her eggs with the fertile eggs. Bill reached out and touched her and she shot out of there like a canon. He then replaced her eggs with the fertile ones. She returned a short while later and went back to setting. She’s gotten more used to us since she’s been broody and seems to know we’re trying to help her. We put her food and water near the barrel and close it up every night with cinder blocks, a board and a refrigerator rack to keep predators out.

Little Dove takes good care of herself. She gets off her nest herself to eat and drink. Our other broody, Brownie, has to be taken off her eggs every day to eat and drink and exercise or she’ll starve herself. Since Little Dove’s hatch date is getting close, I’ve been spraying her eggs with water so the chicks won’t stick to the membrane when they hatch. I didn’t have time to spray her eggs before I went to the grocery store today so Bill did. When he lifted her off her nest she protested more than she ever had. He soon discovered the reason. In the nest was her newly hatched chick and another egg is pipping. Little Dove is finally a mother!

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