Oh, I'm really on the fence and can't decide. I really miss my fresh eggs.
We are not eating the eggs from the four hens because they have been treated w/ Baytril. The FDA pulled Bayer's approval for use in poultry in 2005, 7 years after granting approval, when they started to see a trend with people getting a bacteria resistant to Cipro. I'm not a big risk taker when it comes to my food so I've decided not to eat their eggs. It's just not worth the risk.
But that said, there's nothing wrong with adding to the flock and eating the eggs from the new hens. And if I got hens who laid green, blue, white or dark brown eggs, it would be super easy to tell them apart from my brown egg layers.
Honey has been broody for two and a half weeks. Saturday would be 21 days. And I've read that you can buy day old chicks and give them to a broody after 21 days and that she'll almost always take them and raise them as hers. So I'm really tempted.
My hesitation is around Ginger. Ginger is a traumatized little hen. She hates change and I had a devil of a time integrating Honey, Sugar and Spice with her earlier this year. Coco is much more mellow. She'll deliver one good peck to show she's boss and that's that.
But I can see Ginger going after babies. And I'm not sure that Honey would stand up to Ginger and defend them. But who knows. Maybe that mama hen instinct would kick in hard if she had babies to defend. I suppose I could put up a barricade and keep them separate for a period of time. But I'm still going to have to deal with integration at some point.
I'd love to give Ginger a Valium laced treat every morning to ease her anxiety. I feel awful for her. Alternatively, if I can get Honey to give Ginger one good peck to put her in her place, that would do the trick too.
Oh, what to do?
I have till Saturday to think through this. At which point I need to either go for it or just forget about fresh eggs and enjoy my four pet hens.