Today is day 18 of the incubation process. Theoretically, the chicks could hatch at any moment, but I am not really expecting anything to happen until at least thursday (day 20). I turned the eggs for the last time this morning, and have upped the humidity from 30-35% to 50-55%. Now it's a waiting game.
Purdy is deep in the broody zone, and is proving to be a formidable hen. All broodies are completely psychotic, but usually they restrict themselves to growls and threat displays. Not so Purdy. Twice now she has flown at me in a whirling, hormonal dervish of whupass. It is quite unsettling to have a small ball of feathers launch itself at you with a low growl. She has been admonished for this behaviour, and I have flattened her to the deck a la a cockerel. She mutters chickenny oaths and eyeballs me with malicious intent. However, her new boldness is keeping her safe. Even the formidable ASBO chicken, aka Maeve, is not keen to peck the head of this broody. If she doesn't snap out of it soon, I will have to don the gardening gloves and dunk her in a cold bath. I expect to bear the scars.
With the arrival of summer, I have taken to leaving the back door open. This has its downside, as hens are incredibly inquisitive. I have so far found the silkies sunbathing under the dining table, Maude staring rapt at the washing machine on spin cycle and Doris scoffing grapes out of the fruit bowl. In a more sinister twist, Maeve likes to sit behind the curtain, occassionally muttering a hex. It is most disturbing. Mabel will sometimes venture inside, do a stately tour of the kitchen area, and then sail back outside with her beak in the air. Celia hovers by the back door, clearly wanting to venture forth but lacking the courage without her nosier friend.
Thank God we don't have a cat flap.