Add 1 more chicken to the list.
We had a chook sitting, on lots of eggs as, I think, other chooks would keep laying in her hidden nest. At one stage there were around 14 so we locked the other chooks out of this pen and let this chook sit. We waited. And waited. But nothing. I decided that after so long, way longer than 3 weeks, that the eggs were not fertile and that I would remove them and lock this clucky up to de-cluckify her.
But there were no longer 14 eggs, only a few...I removed them anyway when this chook was off getting food. I intended to catch her and lock her up in a small cage for a few days. But *forgot* Husband and I went to Tasmania for 3 weeks. This chook was sitting on eggs again as some of our chooks jump the 6 foot high fence to get into this pen. Daughter found her and named her Mango, as she was in the yard with mango trees. We were away for 22 days. Came back and she was still sitting on eggs and this time I was sure going to remove her eggs and lock her away. But I promptly forgot about her again. A few days ago I saw her out getting food and she had 1 little chicken with her. I looked in her nest and there were 4 cold eggs in there.
We caught her and she was so light...I am a really bad chook person to let her sit for so long. But she is now safe, in the covered chicken pen with the other mumma chooks and their chickens.
I am so glad that she ended up with a baby after sitting for so long but I really need to check hidden nests and under bushes and trees as most of these chickens have come from hidden away nests that we knew nothing of until we saw the chickens out with their mum.
I wonder why the amount of eggs drops off, I look around the pens, under bushes, under trees, in the long grass...but I find nothing. This morning husband has a look and finds 2 hidden nests. Eighteen eggs. That could have been fertile as the rooster is with these chooks...We need NO more chickens though so I removed the eggs and will feed some to the dogs and the rest back to the chooks. And I have whippersnippered the area so there is less places for the chooks to nest. A bit more to go but that is the Boysenberry area and the runners are everywhere so if I go in chopping it all to bits then it will spread even further into places we don't want it. HoHum...A big job for later when it cools down a bit.