Back in 2011 I added about a dozen chicks to my flock, three of which were Buff Orpingtons. Buff Orpingtons can make excellent school visit hens – they’re pretty and docile. My good storytime hens were retiring, and I was hoping that there’d be a nice one in this group. However, a good-natured Buff Orpington turns into a huffy chickzilla when she goes broody, and BOs are known for going broody, so I knew that I was taking a risk. Still, the children that I meet on school visits love meeting a golden hen. It was worth getting a couple BO chicks. Of the three, Amber, Beryl and Topaz, one was just what I’d hoped for. Amber has become my assistant when I do programs. The other two… well… they were broodies. They stayed in their nesting boxes, looking grumpy. They didn’t lay eggs. Put them in an anti-broody coop, and they’d snap out of it, but only for a couple of days. I’d had it with them.
Luckily, one of my readers was looking to add a couple of Buff Orpingtons to her flock. She didn’t care that Beryl and Topaz were broody. Beryl was a particularly beautiful hen. Kim took the two home with her. Periodically, I’ve heard about how nicely they’ve settled in with her backyard flock.
Last month, Kim put the perennially broody Beryl into a separate pen and gave her two fertile eggs. One hatched. Then, Kim tucked a few day-old chicks under Beryl. She accepted them, too. Beryl is the perfect mamma hen. She landed in the best, ever home. Lucky, lucky girl.