Today has been the first truly autumnal day of the year. Stray leaves are blowing about the garden, and all of the trees are at least thinking about throwing down a few more. The two newest ladies came out of their garage home for a wander around the grounds, decided it was cold and windy, and went back in. They were last seen snuggling up in the mini coop, deep in to the woodshavings, and having a bit of a sleep.
The rest of the flock, minus Celia, have been more resilient. With determination, Maeve lay in her favourite dustbath with the aim of catching a few rays. Eventually, she had to aknowledge the lack of hot yellow thing in the sky, puffed herself up and grumbled away in to the shrubbery. Mabel and Maude seem to be feeling the wind even more keenly in their semi-clad state and have retreated to the Palace. They venture out for snacks, but that's about it.
Celia has decided that this is exactly the right time to experiment with being broody. At first I thought she was just taking her time about laying. Upon investigation, however, it became apparent that the little madam was sitting on two eggs. The psychotic glint in her eye told me everything that I needed to know. As I reached forward she began to growl. Inch by inch, I slowly advanced. Celia's growl increased in volume and screechiness until I actually dared stick my hand under her to retrieve the eggs. This did not go down at all well, and she attempted to remove my hand at the wrist. Snatching back my much needed appendage, I solemnly regarded the young hen. She glared back. We then engaged in a ridiculous game of 'Fetch The Egg' where by I advanced on the nest, then lost my nerve. All the while Celia went from low growl to insane harpy mode. The undulations were reminiscent of an old air raid siren, and drew my neighbour to pop her head over the fence to make sure we hadn't had a chemical spill.
Finally realising enough was enough, I distracted the Evil One with a glove while snaffling the eggs. She savagely set about the glove with a quite worrying amount of glee. Certain that she had well and truly killed it, her tiny mind returned to her nest. On the discovery that her eggs were missing, she raised her hackle feathers and hissed at me. That's right, hissed.
Now I have dealt with some determined broodies over the last two years, and I have regularly run the gauntlet with the affectionately named ASBO chicken, but this hen seems positively dangerous.
On with the leather gauntlets.