Thursday, 4 August 2011

A Small Visitor

My little black serama girl, Vera, has decided to go broody again. This is a pain in the backside for several reasons, not least because it leaves Betsy wandering around the garden like the new kid in the playground that everyone ignores. At first, Betsy tried to cajole her friend out of her hormonal insanity, but all she got in return was bad tempered growling and the odd peck between the eyes. Wisely, she decided to let her get on with it and concentrate on herding the baby pekins.

Vera is like a very small toupee nestled amongst the wood shavings of her washing up bowl nest box. She is so much smaller than my pekin girls that I really can't let her just sit. She would lose condition quickly. However, the holiday means that I can't cage her immediately. So, yesterday, I evicted all small chickens from the garage and closed the door so that they couldn't get back in. Betsy, Flo and Winnie took this in good humour and set about eating all of the big girls' pellets. The big girls, for their part, were too hot and bothered to do much more than grumble occasionally from the shrubbery. But Vera was not happy.

The first I knew of her deep displeasure involved a stench that Satan himself would have been proud of. Nothing unusual in this, perhaps, as broody hens have a tendency to pass noxious droppings. But this particular leaving was under the kitchen table. Nice. Vera herself was stood on the back door step, looking in at me with a malevolent glint in her eye and a broody chunter on her lack of lips. I attacked her dirty protest with yards of kitchen roll and disinfectant while inventing some impressive new swear phrases.

I felt that she had made her point, and as the temperature here topped 30 degrees celsius yesterday, I risked leaving the back door open. A few minutes later as I ate a sandwich in the living room something caught my eye. I could have sworn that I saw movement in the kitchen doorway. Listening hard, I awaited the tell tale clicking of talons on wood to let me know I had an interloper. Nothing. Hmmm. I shrugged and went back to my sandwich.

There! There was definitely a small black something legging it across the door way. I crept over to the door and peered left. Clear. Turning my head to the right, I startled Vera who was in the process of running out of the back door with a piece of bread. When I say piece, I mean piece. The rest of the slice was in an ever disintegrating trail from the counter top to the back door. Vera looked at me defiantly, and strutted outside with her prize. I swore a bit more and set about disinfecting the entire kitchen. As tolerant as the ever tolerant husband is, I think even he would baulk at chickens walking across the counter tops and making themselves a sandwich.

After that, Vera declared open season on the house. if the back door was open for even a moment, she was in. After chasing her around the living room and finding her on the sofa after visiting the loo, I decided to give in. With a defeated air I unlocked the garage door. Vera followed me, scolding the whole way. As soon as the door was opened, she hopped in to her hutch, ran up the ramp and jumped back on to her imaginary eggs.

That chicken has gumption.