Wednesday, May 22, 2013
Mrs. Gold Wants a Baby
This is Mrs. Gold. Mrs. Gold is giving us the stink eye. She's giving us the stink eye because we are daring to disturb her maternity chamber. She does this to any and all intruders - her sisters, her husband and me, the hand that feeds her. Mrs. Gold wants a baby and she won't let any one nor any thing stand in her way.
I've seen this look before. Back in the '80's when I was a childbirth educator and apprentice midwife I was well acquainted with this look. Most mothers in labor get this far away look, a combination of deep concentration and total devotion to the task at hand. You had best stay out of her way and let her get on with it I have found. Unfortunately Mrs. Gold had to be moved for her own safety and the safety of her chicks to be. She was not happy to put it mildly. We waited until the dead of night to do the deed.
She's sitting on 10 eggs right now. There were 12 but I broke one earlier in the week (good thing she can't count) and she or one of her nosy sisters broke one in the nest so now there are 10. That's one reason to move them. The other girls just won't leave her alone. The other reason is that the nest boxes are too far off the ground and when the chicks hatch they will have a long drop with no way to get back up to the warm nest and no protection from their Aunties.
Here is her new maternity ward complete with her own food and water and a fence separating her from the neighbors. When the babies hatch they can be seen and heard but still protected from the main flock for a week or two. We moved her at night and kept her confined for a day so she could get used to the new arrangement. Now she's happy as can be and has two more weeks to go to hatch day. She only leaves the nest every two days or so very briefly for a quick drink and snack and then it's back to duty. I feel for her I really do but she is determined. It's her first time as a broody and I think she's doing fine. You'll notice we even scattered rose petals for her to make her feel special!
Still giving us the stink eye. Some ladies just can't relax until those babies arrive. Let's keep our fingers crossed that all 10 hatch successfully.
'till next time,