If you’ve been a Bitchin’ Chickens follower for awhile you’re well aware of my adventures with broody hens. If you new, I’ll fill you in on some of the fun and games you can expect when your hen’s hormones kick into high gear.
Spring has sprung, the season for broody hens and chicks. If you’ve never had a broody hen you’re in for a treat when her pituitary gland triggers the desire to incubate eggs and hatch chicks. You’ll know you’ve got one when your previously docile hen has been transformed into a mini-Pterodactyl complete with screeching, pecking and fluffing up her feathers if you so much as look in her direction. Don’t ask what’ll happen if you try to remove the eggs she’s sitting on or move her out of the nest box.
Broodiness is something that happens – you can’t induce it. Some hens go broody often and others show no maternal aspirations. If you want to hatch your own chicks get a Silkie (who are perpetually broody), bantam or heritage breeds. If you’ve got a broody and don’t want to hatch eggs, good luck dissuading her. Daily egg collection might resemble the fight of your life and she’ll retaliate by stealing her flockmates’ eggs.
I spend an inordinate amount of time scrolling through online chicken groups; most of it is fairly mundane, but every once in awhile I am rewarded with a hidden gem. I stumbled across Melissa’s tale of dealing with her broody hen, Star and asked if I could repost it. Thankfully she graciously accepted and I present it here for your edification and hopefully a few laughs of recognition.
Crime: Larceny, Fleeing and Eluding a Police Officer, Assaulting a Police Officer, Domestic Violence, Disorderly Conduct
Bond: Held without bond
Sentence: 1-4 in jail. No chance of parole or time off for good behaviour
Background: Star was arrested after an internal employment investigation, triggered by the complaint of repeated instances of missing eggs reported by fellow employees at local backyard coop, led to the discovery of an extensive plot by Star to permanently deprive her employer of eggs. At her interview Star appeared either intoxicated (another infraction), under the influence of psychotropic drugs or suffering from a complete psychotic break. She confessed and had no remorse whatsoever for her crimes.
In an attempt to take her into custody she assaulted her mother, fled the scene and upon capture assaulted a police officer. Although she demanded her attorney, her deteriorating mental health has prohibited his ability to help. It is believed a motion for a forensic psychological evaluation and assertion of the legal defence of Crazy Psycho Broody will be advanced on her behalf. It is this fellow attorney’s professional and legal opinion that the defence will be successful. Stay tuned for the court’s ruling and possible release dates. Until then rest assured all flock mates are safe and Star is receiving the help she needs while protecting the public. It is however expected that Star may lose her status as Head Hen if she does not recover quickly
Day 2: CNC (Cable Chicken Network) providing an update on Star’s case and confinement. From activity outside the Chicken Henitentiary, it is clear Star is an integral part and likely leader of the feared chicken gang – The Backyard Chicken Eggsters – as seen in this footage the well known gang surrounded the entrance to the Henitentiary threatening what sounded like violence, if Star was not immediately released.
It is clear that mayhem would have ensued but for the quick thinking and bravery of Henitentiary staff who spread black soldier larvae into the air which quickly quelled the uprising. Even the younger members were seen staging a sit-in under the nearby foliage. Star was denied extended time in the exercise yard due to the discovery of contraband in her cell earlier this morning. Meanwhile egg production seems to be returning to normal now that Star’s thievery was quashed.
Day 3: In an effort to ensure Star’s physical health (upon recommendation by her psychiatrist) she was let out in the jail yard for an extended time, but under strict Henitentiary staff supervision, to stretch her legs and bathe. Although bathing was uneventful, when hens attempted to engage Star in a fun game of ‘catch that bug’, Star began screeching, puffed up like a puffer fish and chaos quickly ensued.
Star jumped one Henitentary inmate and assaulted another with what appeared to be a homemade shank attached to her foot. One inmate described what happened as a scene out of Nightmare on Elm Street. New charges may be forthcoming. A new, more experienced mental health professional is needed as the current one quickly utilized a straight-jacket and threw Star into a padded cell. The move was met by Star’s attorney filing an emergency motion to prevent this moronic unethical treatment of Star. The motion was successful and she was promptly returned to solitary confinement and is now being allowed visitors. Stay tuned for more on Star’s court battle for freedom.
Day 4: After Friday’s CNC (Cable Network Chicken Channel) reported on Star’s shocking involvement and leadership in the deadly Backyard Eggsters chicken gang, Star’s mother and attorney now go on the record to expose this fake news! It is believed the Chicken General Dorking Neiderrheiner from Rhode Island (a Red State) has used Star’s mental illness against her to frame her for crimes she didn’t intend to commit during her psychiatric episode.
In Court today during Star’s hearing, the picture from CNC of alleged ‘gang members’ outside the Henitentiary, depicted as ‘inciting a riot’ has been exposed as a complete lie. In actuality those are Star’s friends, family and flock mates who lined up for visitation to help Star through this difficult time.
JUST IN – We just learned Star’s convictions have been overturned and her sentence vacated as the judge finds her actions were not criminal but rather a result of a psychotic break resulting from the devastating chicken post-laying depression caused by her unfulfilled need to have chicks. Tonight she was welcomed home by her family and friends. It is unknown at this time what negative consequences will be endured by Star into the future after her unethical treatment at the hands of the authorities. But for now, Star is happy to be sleeping in her own bed and looks forward to running free to eat bugs, stretch her wings, and catch moths with her friends and flock mates.
This concludes this chapter of Broody Witchin’ Chicken.
Melissa Meyers: I live in West Michigan and am a local attorney by day and chicken tender at night. All my chickens are my pets, named and loved like any other pet. They might be a bit spoiled too. I have three teenage high school daughters (the reason why you will often find me drinking wine in the chicken yard with my ladies), 2 Australian Shepherds, 2 Netherland Dwarf rabbits and a couple of cats. My husband claims our house doubles as a ‘petting zoo’ and that I would bring home an ark full of animals if I could. He might be a little right.
Star: A 7 ½ month old mixed breed – Green Queen and an extraordinary layer of beautiful large dark green eggs. She is the current Queen of our small flock and rules with kindness and grace (although she does have the most menacing growl). She will gladly take cuddles when available but doesn’t demand them like some of her sisters
Thanks to Melissa Myers for sharing her story and photos, used with permission. Photo credit: Sheriff rooster photo Jennifer Cappi Williams
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