Have you ever met a wet hen?
How about a hen that's wet because you just dunked into a bucket of cold water?
If you have, then you know exactly how mad a wet hen can be.
For those of you who have never experienced a wet hen, you may be wondering why in the world someone would torture a hen by dunking her into cold water. Obviously, she doesn't like it.
There is a reason. Unfortunately, it doesn't always work the way intended.
It may be a problem because there's no rooster and the eggs are not fertile -- making her effort to hatch the eggs futile.
Another problem is that she gets really testy when she's broody. Even with the hens who would normally lay eggs in the coop with her. Breakfast can get a bit lean when the hens don't lay their quota.
When the chicken keeper realizes the hen won't come out of the broodiness on her own, a dunking in cold water may be in order to shock her out of her broodiness. Some say it is to cool off the skin where she was sitting on the eggs and reverse the compulsion to keep the eggs warm.
Sometimes this works. Sometimes it doesn't.
Either way, it definitely produces the MADDER THAN A WET HEN response.
The hen will probably go nuts squawking, kicking, pecking, and destroying the nearest human being around.
Have you heard the term "flogging?" Well, a wet hen can be like flogging on steroids.
My mom had a hen that became broody. She was determined to break her from her broodiness and make life in the backyard pleasant again. Mom dragged a washtub into the yard and filled it up with water. Creeping up to the nesting site, my petite mother grabbed the hen between her hands and carried her to the tub of water.
As soon as the hen's feet hit that water, she went into MAD HEN mode. Mom held on tight and was nearly as wet as the hen as she was dragged behind the chicken. I thought they might both take flight. Finally, the hen wrestled herself out of Mom's grasp and started flogging her. I've never heard a chicken make so much racket. The rest of the chickens scattered and left Mom to fend for herself.
Okay, so I left her to fend for herself, too. I hid inside the house behind a screen door. Mom finally made it to the house and got inside the door, doing a bit of kicking and flogging herself to keep the hen outside.
|Watch out for wet hens that remember you|
For your information -- that hen never forgot what Mom did to her that day. They may have a brain the size of a pea, but that pea remembers. Every time Mom stepped into the backyard, here she came, squawking and flogging.
Mom had the last laugh, though. The hen made a mighty fine Sunday dinner.
Have you ever known anyone who was MADDER THAN A WET HEN? Have you been MADDER THAN A WET HEN yourself? I'd love to hear your stories.