Tuesday, 12 April 2011

The Waiting Game

Well, here we are two days in to the serama hatching experiment. The incubator is busy whirring away, and rotating the eggs every forty minutes. When it does this, it sounds a tinkling alarm which has never failed to make me jump, and make the ever tolerant husband roll his eyes. If he thinks that's annoying, just wait until I break the news that any resultant chicks might have to live in the downstairs loo.

Vera is so far sticking with it. Up until yesterday, I was lifting her from the nest to make sure that she ate and drank, but today I have just observed her. She seems to come around from her broody trance around lunchtime for about ten minutes. Today, I just so happened to be in the garage when I heard the trademark anxious broody chuntering, and saw Vera pacing at the hutch door. I opened it for her, and she leapt on to the floor and scarpered out of the garage door. I confess that at this moment I had a moment of panic. I needn't have worried.

Vera ran straight across the patio to the lawn and ripped up great beakfuls of grass. Bolting it down, she legged it over to the dust bath and rolled about for about thirty seconds. Personal grroming dealt with, she shook herself  on the patio and assumed that look of pensive contemplation that chickens make before they poo. Having evacuated a dropping almost as big as she was, she ran to a puddle to drink. Betsy was following her pal around the whole time, but backed off considerably upon the arrival of Giant Evil Faeces Monster. Can't say that I blame her.

Thirst slaked, Vera stood tall for a moment, surveying the garden and the other hens. Then she chuntered and ran back to the garage, jumped up in to her hutch and returned to her nest. The last I heard, she was fussing around her eggs and getting comfortable. Betsy arrived at the garage door, and we looked at one another. Vera's appearance had been short and sweet, and I imagine that the way she had packed an entire day of chickenny activities in to five minutes was rather bewildering to her micro chicken friend. As a gesture of sympathy, I gave Betsy a few grains of corn.

I'm not too concerned that Betsy is lonely, though. She is showing an amazing amount of pluck. Over the last few days, she has begun sneaking in to the Palace run and sitting on the perches. Sometimes the other hens wander in, and she stays still and silent, watching them. Yesterday, Maude spotted her sitting there and I thought we might have a bit of fisticuffs. But after a moment, Maude went back to slurping from the drinker and then mooched back out. This morning, I could hear Betsy but not hear her. I found her sitting in the Palace on the perching block, chattering to the grumpy and stubbornly broody Hilda. Hilda glared, but made no move to eat the little hen so I'd say that's progress.

Perhaps acceptance is in the offing?


  1. can I just say happy I am to have found your blog! Tomorrow is my big day, I'm making a big step in my green life and I'm off to get my first hens. I've been having sleepless nights and nervous breakdowns and they're not even here yet- no one in my house understands! Im so relieved to have found a space to be a hen nut and not keep getting told "they all look the same to me". dead excited! thank you!

    Holly x
    Holly x

  2. Hi Holly :D What hens are you going to keep? And yes, you've found your spiritual home ;)