Very interesting observations; thanks Shad. Good luck with the deconstruction of the brush pile!One of the reasons hens, particularly pullets which is what Tack is, nest away from the coops is because they can't defend their nests from the senior hens. They get thrown off the nest when seniors want to lay, thrown off by seniors who do not think they should be sitting and very occasionally thrown off by the senior rooster. It seems in the world of chickens that the more senior the hen, the more right she has to sit and mate with the senior rooster. It all makes evolutionary sense. You get to be senior for a reason. It's not just luck.
If a pullet isn't confident about defending her nest then she isn't going to be able to defend her chicks. I've seen this a number of times now. It's not so much a question of the other hens harming the chicks; it's about competing for food, safety spots, rooster attention etc.
Then there is the question of egg fertility. Senior hens will interrupt mating if they can and while the pullet may have a pile of eggs, many may not be fertile.
When pullets have sat and hatched they have tended to isolate themselves from the tribe. This greatly increases the risk of predation to them and their chicks. Ideally one wants the quickest possible integration so mum and chicks get tribe protection.
So, no I won't be letting her sit and hatch. She is deep in a pile of brush. Some of the brush is heavy. Not knowing exactly where she is and not being able to investigate deeper into the pile without risking trapping her and possibly injuring her makes things more difficult. I'm hoping she'll come out again tomorrow. Then I can dismantle the pile without worrying about injuring her in the process.
And a plane so you can fly off to cooler climates.But, I have a lake
Well if you have so much property that your lake is 9 miles from your house, you can surely afford gardners to mow around the lake.Haha, I don't have to mow it, silly! but it's only 9 miles away. (very convenient)
Either the cat likes you or doesn't want to feel indebted for the foodSweet. Just what I've always wanted: a rat's ass!
So do our house cats. Not the most fun thing to find. DW found a dead bat in a doorway yesterday morning. Not sure how it got in but I suspect the cats made sure it stopped flying. I guess flying mice aren't as tasty as terrestrial mice, there was no obvious damage other than a small bit of blood on the floor.Scaredy cat donates puked up mouse parts.
Clearly you have been paying attention to the behavioral aspects of your chickens.One of the reasons hens, particularly pullets which is what Tack is, nest away from the coops is because they can't defend their nests from the senior hens.