Friday, February 21, 2014

Broody Cat or The Cat who Wanted to be a Chicken

Our cat, Marbles,  sitting on 'her' eggs

This is our farm's 'Boss Cat'.  Marble's thinks she owns our farm.  Truly she has lived here a lot longer than we have.  She is not intimidated by Dallas the Dog or anything.  She is the BOSS!  For a long time the chickens would go squawking and run away when she came around.  She is a hunting cat and roams far and near in her hunting expeditions.  I used to be afraid that she would harm the chickens, but now she wants to be one!  'Broody'  is a condition when a hen wants to sit on eggs and hatch chicks, rather than just keep laying them.  Our cat has gone 'broody'!

Chickens scratching in the coop looking for corn

Marbles now comes into the chicken coop and checks all the lower nesting boxes.  She finds which one has the most eggs and climbs in there.  At first, I thought she was just looking for a place to keep warm.  I didn't expect to find eggs under her.  I reached under her and found SIX eggs!  They weren't warm.  She wasn't sitting on them to warm herself.  She watched the hens.  When I filled the hen's water dish she got out and drank with them.  It was funny to look down and see all the chickens gathered tightly around the bowl with a cat squeezed in there also. They have accepted her and don't mind her presence anymore.  We do have three other cats, so it isn't just a matter of her looking for company.

The other cat came out to see what was going on

We spread dried corn in the bottom of the coop most every afternoon to encourage them to till up their straw and compost.  The cat gets down and scratches with them.  She has tried the field corn but she doesn't care for that.  She just joins the 'ladies' and does what they do.

Marbles guarding her waffle from the other hens

We take dried bread and scraps to the chickens most every day.  The cat comes along and finds something for herself from their bowl.  They don't mind her in the least.  She clearly doesn't understand what happens to hens when they are no longer useful!  She has never heard of the stew pot!

Our beautiful fresh eggs

Here is one days worth of eggs from our ladies.  Sometimes we use more eggs than they can produce.  The other day we were waiting around waiting for one more egg so that Michelle could finish her cheesecake project. We have ordered more chicks to be arriving in March.  Stay tuned for more hot chick pictures! (That is, a young chicken under the warming lights-)

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