A Broody Hoppy

Spring has sprung. Flowers are blooming. Leaves are unfurling. And our Partridge Cochin, Hoppy, would like to raise some babies. She's gone broody.

None of our existing flock is really pre-disposed to go broody except Hoppy. And we all find it funny when she does. I should have recognized the signs. For the past few weeks, Hoppy has been laying more eggs than usual. I just thought she was "old faithful." But, really, she was trying to build up her clutch.

Then, two days ago, I noticed Hoppy wasn't out much with the flock. That's when I knew exactly where to find Hoppy. She was in her nest box and that's where she'll stay for the next few weeks.

In an effort to get Hoppy some exercise, I always gently remove Hoppy from her box and place her outside the coop so, at least, she'll have to walk to get back to her box. Hoppy is such a gentle soul that she's never mean to me when I do this. But she does express her displeasure by emitting a low, throaty growl, putting her wings out slightly and puffing up all her feathers. Now, Cochins are big birds. And when Hoppy puffs up, it's really an impressive sight.

Once out of the coop, Hoppy always swings her beak back and forth on the ground letting everyone know to stay away. She'll usually scratch around a bit and then run back into the coop with lots of growls and puffed out feathers.

I do feel a little sorry for Hoppy because she'll never really have a family to raise. I know she'd make a great mother and I would love to see those cute little chicks poking their heads out from under her immense girth. But, without a rooster, I guess we'll settle for picking out chicks from a store or catalog.

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