Egg wars

On of the plagues of keeping bantams is that when one hen goes broody, they all do. Whether or not there is any link to the controversial theory of menstrual synchrony, I am loathe to speculate, and – being a male – it’s really not my business. All I know is that having started off the season with collecting four eggs a day, I am now getting none, because broody hens don’t lay.

That is not the worst of it though. When one of the hens takes ten minutes out for a drink or a breath of fresh air, the chances are high that one of the others will decide she prefers the eggs of the absentee and will simply take over. This leaves her own eggs growing cold and the deprived owner strutting around in fluffed-up fury (but of course refusing to do a straight swap). The only hope is to separate them all into their own individual runs, but this involves a nightmare of hammering together bits of wood and wire netting, which I hate…

On a happier note, Fluffy has now become a mother. We last met Fluffy as a deprived adolescent, ripe for the attention of social workers.

During the winter she has grown through the awkward phase, and, though no beauty, is at least respectable.

She has one yellow/white chick (which must be hers)

One black chick (which is definitely someone else’s)

And two brown speckled chicks (which could be anyone’s)

These chicks are two days old, and virtually self-sufficient. When you think that, as a human, you have to hang around for at least a year before your offsping can even feed itself properly, you do have to wonder what claim we have to be top species…