Saturday 2 July 2011


I've been taking it easy today.  I didn't altogether take the day off, I've got a fair bit done, but I read both daily papers by mid-afternoon, which doesn't often happen with the bulky Saturday papers.  I spent quite some time finding out more about my iPad, which I bought last Monday in a hopeful burst of exuberance.  It has already proved very useful at meetings, where I haven't had to take along papers, but just read documents from the screen.

I mentioned, the other day, that I'd had to carry the brown hen out of the porch, when she wanted to sit on eggs and I needed to go out.  We had to give in, she was determinedly broody.  Fortunately, the Sage's friend Graham, who is leaving for New Zealand tonight, brought 15 fertile bantam eggs as a parting gift, so they have been divided between the broody ones, three or four each, and we will raise a cockerel to join the family as well as some young hens.  We always bring in an unrelated potential father, not wanting ours to become inbred.

It's typical of this girl that she has neither hidden away nor sat in the hen house, but has come as close as she can to us.  She is unperturbed by comings and goings, but still sharply aware of what is going on.  I heard some squawking this morning, which was probably two of them having a brief altercation, and went out to find her craning her neck, trying to see what was happening without leaving her eggs.  The eggs she had laid were, of course, infertile, so I reached under her yesterday, taking them all away and then replaced them with four of those that Graham brought.
When the eggs hatch, we will put each foster mum and her chicks in a separate coop.  It's too risky to leave them outside, the magpies would get them.


Tim said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Z said...

But then, I wonder if they know why they're sitting on eggs in the first place?

Roses said...

Oh bless.

I can't wait to see the pictures of the new chicks.

No wonder you've been quiet on-line! You've been playing with your iPad. I think if I was going to be a student again, that would be my tool of choice.

Anonymous said...

What a lovely story. I can't wait to hear how she does when the little 'uns hatch out :)

Z said...

Hens feel protective towards their eggs, and they love their chicks. Once in a while, we have popped a few newly-hatched chicks under a sitting hen, if we know her eggs will not hatch, and the expression on her face when she feels them move is a delight.

Keeping our fingers crossed for the success of this batch. It'll be lovely, having more babies about.

Tim said...

I wouldn't dream of accusing you of anthropomorphism, even after seventeen attempts at spelling that word. But I do wonder what they call us. Or would if they had language. Which is an acquired skill I seem to be losing by the minute, or glass.

Z said...

Indeed, what is "love" to a mother hen? But you can see the sudden start and an expression of keen interest when they feel a chick move, and they give every impression of deep content.
My dogs have all loved me, but I've never felt that another animal has. Hens have a quite limited vocabulary, which is not hard to learn, but I'm not at all sure that they have a name for us.

PixieMum said...

I am very impressed how quickly you have learnt to use your iPad. I'm struggling still, especially with trying to use the photos I have taken with it and then to use them in my blog.

Have no difficulties when using photos from laptop but want to use pictures taken with iPad. Cannot find anything in the book I bought either.

Oh well, have to stop this and go and give bread dough a second kneading, that will relieve my frustration.

Four Dinners said...

"Clucking Hell! Where's me eggs gone???"


too much voddy


Z said...

I already have an iPhone, Madeleine, so it wasn't that different. I'll investigate and see if I can work out how to do it, I haven't tried that yet.

4D, I'm not going to leave you in charge of eggs!