Purdy has decided to join Celia in her broody psychosis. I have decided to blame this completely ridiculous (not to mention totally unsuitable) state of affairs on the fact that these two ladies are not yet a year old. They are obviously in the grip of adolescent, hormone induced unreasonableness. A more seasoned hen wouldn't dream of bothering with all this pallaver in October.
Daily, I turf them out of the nest box and rescue any eggs (Out of eight chickens, I now have one laying girl. ASBO Chicken is still going strong and keeping me in cake). Purdy leaps up, shrieks her head off and runs laps around the garden. She is generally persued by the mighty Mille's, who for some reason favour the galloping Purdy with their sexual favors. She is not a particularly willing participant.
Celia remains flattened on the lawn, like an elaborate cow pat. I nudge her with my foot, and recieve growls for my troubles. I have learnt that approaching her with my hands is painful and fruitless. Gradually, I shove the spaced out chicken across the grass. Maeve usually wanders over at this point to deliver a few sharp pecks to Celia's head. Even this rough treatment merely earns her a hiss. I shoo Maeve away, and stick my welly under the reluctant silver partridge in an attempt to get her up on her feet. Eventually, she stands like someone awakening from a deep sleep. She staggers a short distance, and usually defecates in a truly spectacular fashion.
Broody droppings are always vile, but Celia has the ability to create something so mind bogglingly enormous and fetid that it has to be seen to be believed. The first time I came across one of these ginormo-poo's I thought it must have been left by a fox and became quite alarmed. She stands next to her creation, looking at me as if to say 'See? Are you happy now?!'.
I can only imagine that if I didn't force her from the nest occassionally, she might actually explode.