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Tales from my smallholding – don’t count your chickens…

I have had a teeny suspicion that Betty might have been laying away but haven’t been able to find any evidence and to be fair to her its still very wintery and she is still quite young.

But it appears that Betty has been laying.

And creating a nice little cluster of eggs.

We hadn’t seen her today and were worried that she’d become fox fodder.

Instead she’d hunkered down in the hen house and was all fluffed up and sitting on her eggs.

And VERY grumpy to have been disturbed by me opening the nesting boxes to find out what was up.

We have created a maternity wing for her using a rabbit hutch so she is on the ground (rather than all the way up in the hen house) and all safe and secured.

The trouble came when we tried to move her and the eggs over to her new residence.

I managed to extract her and the eggs into a cardboard box without too much damage to me.  Only a few pecks.  But once I tried to move them she started shouting, Ginger* came running and havoc broke loose.

She pecked me and leapt out of the box leaving me with a box of eggs, two very cross chickens trying to persuade me to put them back and a lot of noise.

Eventually we got the eggs into the maternity wing but then Betty had run off leaving Mr and I running around the garden trying to catch her whilst not getting pecked by Ginger.  15 minutes later we eventually cornered her and I was able to grab her whilst Mr protected my rear (literally… Ginger was not happy to see Betty being taken away) and return her to her eggs.

So tonight we have Betty safely in the maternity wing but Ginger is not happy.  He’s been hanging around the pen outside her wing (and tempting her out to chat) and generally moping around.  We thought he wouldn’t go into his own hen house but fortunately self preservation kicked in over romantic attachment.

Not quite sure how things are going to work out, if any of the eggs will turn into chicks, especially after all the trouble we’ve been to, or if Ginger will go into a decline until he’s reunited with Betty.

So without wanting to count my chicks before they hatch, how exciting would it be to have our first batch of homegrown hens!

*This is a different Ginger from the one I posted about before.  This is a male Ginger.  Who isn’t a sex addict and so hasn’t had to be sent to my parents for reprogramming.  Yes I think I am the only person with a sex addict chicken.  Sigh

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