Green Thumb and Broody Hen

I will treat you to some beautiful spring photos of Simone’s dazzling tulips.  Everything Simone plants seems to grow larger than life.  Last year, one of my blog posts featured her dahlias,  dinner-plate-sized bursts of summer.  This spring Simone planted pots of tulips in her garden.  Many of the photos I took came out blurry, perhaps due to the evening coming on, the overcast skies, and brisk wind.  However, I did capture a few good shots.

Simone's tulips!

Simone’s tulips!

Fiery Red!

Fiery Reds!



Whereas perhaps I was disappointed that I couldn’t quite capture the full magic of Simone’s green thumb, I did succeed in capturing the full-on majesty of Don and Simone’s rooster!  Yes, they have a rooster!  Why, you may wonder?  After all, Simone and Don live in an urban setting.

Mr. Rooster!

Mr. Rooster!

Don and Simone initially only had hens and, unfortunately, one hen became a Broody Hen!  A Broody Hen suddenly won’t leave her nest unless she needs to eat, drink, or poo.  She will sit on her eggs day and night.  If you try to take away her unfertilized eggs, she will attack you.  She is no longer docile.  She becomes temperamental and protective of her eggs at all costs.  She will puff up her feathers to appear bigger and more frightening, so you will leave her alone. She will begin to pluck away at her own chest feathers feathers in an attempt to create more warmth for her eggs because she has a strong desire to hatch her eggs and raise her young.  The sad thing is that, if the eggs are not fertilized, this behavior goes on and on.  The Broody Hen’s behavior is hormonal and it is rather unusual to have this happen to your hens (that is, if you have hens…I don’t have hens, though having urban hens is becoming quite popular in Seattle).   Don and Simone felt worried about their Broody Hen, so they went to a chick hatchery and bought a few fertilized eggs for the Broody Hen to sit on.  Only ONE of the eggs hatched and it was a MALE.

They watched this male grow more than twice as large as his “mother”.    He was very attached to her, and even as he grew big, he continued to snuggle his big body under his mother for warmth at night until she died suddenly last week.

Flapping Wings!

Flapping Wings!

Big Boy!  Who's the boss around here?

Big Boy! Who’s the boss around here?

Mr. Big Boy has become the holy terror of all the hens.  He is incessantly mating with them and plucks at the feathers on their heads to show his dominance.  Still, somehow, Don and Simone hang on to  him because, after all, they watched this guy come into the world. They watched his featherless weak body fall over as he hatched forth and they were certain he would not survive. Mr. Big Boy proved them wrong.

Don feeding the hens.

Don feeding the hens.

These hens eat organic produce!

Meal time

Happy (wet) Spring!


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5 Responses to “Green Thumb and Broody Hen”

  1. Nikoel Says:

    I’m so sad to hear that the hen died, but he is a beautiful bird! There are ways to break hens of being broody too, but it’s too late for any of that now. Haha!


  2. frangallo Says:

    Hi Nikoel, I thought of you as I wrote this post! I think they tried several ways to break the hen of being broody. She was about 3 years old and seemed fine until she died. They are not sure about the cause of her death. All the others are healthy! And yes, isn’t he beautiful!!


  3. lovemyarts Says:

    I loved the story of Broody Hen and her son, how sad that she died!


  4. Tone Deklaver Says:

    What a fun story. It made me think about my grandparent’s farm where they had a ” ruling roster”


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