Monday, August 9, 2010

Hen Sympatico

Having finished my latest project, except for the editing, I've decided to embark on a new one.  The idea came from Sussey, our Sussex hen, who recently spent 21 days broody, entranced until three eggs hatched -- and from our current sitter, unnamed, who has about a week and a half to go.  Our friend, Pat Foreman, chick expert, author of City Chicks ( and, warned that if the hen is messing in its nest (her words, not mine), we might want to dis-entrance her by gently lifting her up so she flaps her wings a couple times.

How can they do this 21-day thing, I'm wondering.  Could I?  It would have to be Meditation 501 or more like 1001, some number way up there in grad school.  Wearing an empathy belly could not compare to this feat.

"You're joshing," says Virginia.

"Doubting Thomas," I accused her right back.  I"ve already contacted the Guinness folks and they're 100% behind me.  In fact, if I can hatch even one of a clutch, I will be in the 2011 edition with a big box all the way around my story.  The Perdue Farm has offered me a tidy sum just for finishing, whether or not I become a proud mother/father.

So, beginning tomorrow, I'll be sitting on a bottomful of brown eggs, which I hope to keep at 99-101 degrees, depending on the hygrometer and thermometer that will be my only constant companions, except of course for the eggs.

"Don't forget to turn them," says Virginia.

Duh, as if I don't know I've got to do that at least twice a day for the first 18 days.  I promise not to mess in the nest.  In fact, I'll be looking forward to a break every now and then.

"Om.  Om.  Om."

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