One sometimes wonders about a chicken's instinct for motherhood. All three of those potential Silkie eggs were stone cold yesterday morning. The girls either lost interest or were off in another corner, gossiping. Of course, when you really stop to think about it, it's probably a good thing that the urge to brood only happens once in awhile. It would be terrible to imagine if a hen were to grieve every time her egg was taken away. At bedtime last evening, Yuki was adamant about not leaving the nest, so it may be that she's sitting on an egg or two. I didn't want to take a chance by disturbing her. Once a hen settles in to hatch her egg, she'll only get off the nest to eat, get a drink, and turn the egg (how do they know to do that?). The funny thing is, while she's away getting a snack, another hen will dash in and lay an egg next to the first one, getting the benefit of a built-in baby sitter and none of the responsibility. When the big hens were keeping company with Frederick and got broody, I'd find upwards of a dozen eggs in one nest in just a couple of days. Since a hen will lay one egg every day or so, it's not hard to imagine how many were taking advantage of the situation. If Yuki is still on the nest today, I'll mark the eggs so I'll know which ones are ready to hatch and when.
Joel and Judy are willing to be guinea pigs for new recipes, and I tried out a new menu last night. The "crock pot" polenta finally had to be taken out and finished on the stove, but the final result tasted fine. We all agreed the recipe for braised country ribs was a keeper. Everyone should be lucky enough to have grape growers as guests...in addition to their most enjoyable company, they brought a bottle of Tempranillo wine. Of all the wines in our region, that's probably my favorite red, and it really held up to the robust flavors of the meal.