Well, it sure is Spring, isn't it?
Totoro, my sweet, silly, black silkie chicken, has gone broody. This is no surprise. Silkies are fantastic little mothers, and love nothing more than to raise chicks after chicks after chicks.
It all started early in the morning last weekend. Rich noticed Totoro wasn't in the yard with the other chickens. I thought at first she was just laying. But she was still in the nest around noon. And still there in the afternoon. And still there at night, even after the rest of the flock was roosting. You see, rather than abandoning the egg she'd just laid, like most modern hatchery birds do, Totoro had decided to become a mom. You can see her here, sitting on her egg, as well as everyone else's eggs, keeping them all nice and toasty warm.
Of course, since my chickens' closest experience with being serviced by a real rooster is having me grab their tails and ruff up their feathers a bit (What?! It makes them happy, okay!) Totoro can sit on that nest until my non-existent cows come home (I'm not that far gone yet, people!) and she won't get any chicks.
That is, unless I slip some fertile eggs under her. And I could. Yes, I could. And that would make her happy. Yes. Very Happy. I could use the interwebz, and contact a breeder. For about $25 that breeder could bubble-wrap and double-box and then overnight a handful of "hatching eggs." And then Totoro could hatch them.
And yes, I've already looked. And I've found several breeders with eggs I'd like to try. Breeds I've only ever dreamed of owning. Like little miniature chickens that look proud and aggressive, but are the size of a coke can at full growth. Or puffy lavender colored chickens with fuzzy feet. Or big giant chickens twice the size of my current largest. Or chickens who lay olive green, or chocolate-colored eggs.
But I'm only allowed 6 chickens in Alameda. And I already have 6 chickens. And I love them all. But I want to hatch some eggs. Somebody, stop me! Don't let me run afowl (!) of the law! I must resist the anthropomorphic bittersweetness of this bird vainly trying to hatch a wooden egg. Please! Talk me out of assisting this attempt at procreation.
Or... Better yet, become my accomplice! Who among you wants chickens? Some of you must! Cause if you'll let me, I'll help you order eggs, and we'll let Totoro hatch them out for you. And then I'll send the adorable little fuzzballs home with you, promise. Or I'll keep them until they are teenagers, and handraise them so they are tame and social when they move into their new home in your backyard coop.
Come on. It's Spring! You know you want to...