Ruby Gets Her Way

Day 1 of 21

I took this picture of Ruby today. Her head is down low; her tail is up high; and she’s growling at me. She is a fierce little broody mama. I took this picture right after Juliet had been in there and laid and egg on top of Ruby. It rolled off and landed there. I had to grab it before Ruby added it to her stash because Juliet’s genes are going to need to stop with Juliet. I love her to pieces, but she has a high maintenance personality for sure.

Well, we gave in. Today, I put eggs under Ruby. I have tried and tried and tried and tried to break her from her broodiness. There are some tougher-love things you can do to break them, but we just decided that, knowing Ruby, she might out-stubborn us to death. I mean, sitting broody is very hard on hens. You do need to break them from it if you can if they can’t hatch babies, but I had one hen, Beethoven, who would go right back broody every time I would break her, even right after we let her hatch some babies, and she would be stubborn about letting go when we did break her. She died at a fairly young age (she was only 4), and I could see her health was negatively impacted by being broody so much. Plus, you know how stubborn Ruby is. She is not only the boss of me, but she is also the boss of Ron. Ron is very hard to boss.

So that’s a long justification for Ruby getting her way.

We do not have room for more chickens, really, but I feel like it would be a miracle times 10 if Mary Jane is still alive by the end of this summer. I know I keep thinking she is going to pass away soon and she never does, but that meat bird will be 6 years old next month. How is that possible? Anyway, Poe Jr. Jr. is also not doing to great, which is heartbreaking to me, but I can’t figure out what is going on–and I am pretty good at diagnosing health problems in chickens. It’s something genetic. She didn’t molt, which was very strange, and her skin looks a little different than the other hens. It’s a worry, and I’ll keep trying to figure out what is going on. I have examined her twice, which was not easy because she is the most skittish chicken we have.

Anyway, I am going to try to write every day or most every day since Ruby is a little bit blog famous, and she’s getting some eggs again. I put just 6 eggs under her, and it’s likely only 4 might be fertile. Then, you are looking at just 2 girls most likely. I feel like we could squeeze in 2 hens, even if everyone makes it through the summer.

I was very careful in the eggs I chose to put under her. I started out with a Juliet egg, and then was like, “no, we probably don’t want to carry on Juliet’s Uber-intelligent, bossy, difficult mix of genes. I will also never hatch an egg from Ruby. I chose 2 Maran eggs because they are beautiful, and both Hector and Faure are very chill birds. I chose an egg from Cora for the beautiful green color and 2 eggs from the Salmon Faverolle crew because I am convinced that Dvorak’s beautiful gray color mixed with the creamy Faverolle color will make a beautiful chicken. We will see! And then one beautifully speckled egg, even though I am not sure who is laying it but someone healthy for sure.

So we’ll see what we get. I love barnyard mixing and exploring genetics. I hope to share some cool information during the process. Last year, Ruby was hatching pure-bred eggs. This year, she’s hatching eggs I chose, hoping for certain genetic traits in a world of possibilities because they are mixes. It’s going to be fun to see what we get.

My son has been taking an online biology class for homeschool. He asked me about the genetics when I breed chickens, so giving into Ruby is going to lead to an added benefit of a wonderful learning opportunity.

One thought on “Ruby Gets Her Way

  1. Hooray for continuing the blog!
    This is great news!!
    It’s interesting to learn about broody behavior in chickens. I had a crowd here for Mother’s Day and started to ask Koren about her chickens and broody behavior but the conversation got interrupted. I told her I’m learning about broody behavior from Crystal…. she smiled. 😁
    BTW. Koren and Kenyon brought 10 dozen beautiful eggs for everyone and 5 gorgeous bunches of her first asparagus crop! She also brought a tray of deviled eggs to share. They LOVE sharing their bounty with family. ❤️ The joy of growing and producing food.


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