Wednesday, 10 August 2011
Please Form An Orderly Queue
Sigh. Pekins. They're adorable, feisty and full of character. That's why I love them. Unfortunately, they're also a bit mental. I now have Hilda, Celia, Gladys and Vera all sitting on imaginary eggs in the nest box. When evicted, they run about en masse doing the 'broody chunter'. It's more than a little reminiscent of a Benny Hill sketch.
Mabel, Maude and Maeve pretty much have the garden to themselves at this stage. Considering that Maude is still in the process of growing her feathers back, it's really left to the other two to keep up with the garden vandalism. Consequently, the garden looks fabulous. The rose bushes actually have intact roses on them. It's creepy.
Betsy, Winnie and Flo mainly stick to the dust bath by the compost bin. Occasionally they venture forth to liven things up with the established flock, but on the whole they're quite happy sticking to the sidelines. When I step outside it's eerily quiet and calm. No chasing, no manic bokking, no chickenny disputes being settled via flapping and indignant squawking. I don't like it. It's as if my flock has been reduced by half. I get the urge to run out and replenish my stock.
So, once again I have a queue for the broody cage. Hilda is currently on day 2. She has already had two 48 hour incarcerations, so I have lengthened her sentence. She won't get out until tomorrow. As soon as the slammer is free, Celia is moving in. Then Gladys. Then Vera. I am less chicken keeper at the moment than prison warden. And about as popular.
Just to really hammer home the broody concept, the chicken sitter's Black Rock has decided to have a go. When I popped up yesterday to attend to the giant poultry, I found Midnight clamped firmly to the nest. Seizing her with two hands I went to casually lift her from the nest box and plonked her on the ground. I nearly dislocated my shoulders. A large fowl broody mama weighs considerably more than my feather bags, but no one seemed to have told my arms that.
I swear the other hens were chuckling at me in a sinister manner.