There are many stories to tell about our chickens – and today we let the 5 that have been resident inside our garden out into the wild wild blue yonder, outside the vegetable garden windbreak and chicken proof fence.
And they have disappeared it seems.
But there is a story to be told.
This mother bantam is a pure Sebright – she established a nest which we did not find until rather too late to move her to a safer environment. Our calculation was that there were about 2 or so days to go before hatching might start. Apparently at that point the would be mother stops turning the eggs so the chick inside will be the right way up to peck her way out of the egg.
And yes they did – 8 of them.
But her nest was precariously balanced on the edge of a 3 foot drop beside our garage at the bottom of a slope.
There was a nest inside this jumble which is why we couldn’t find her.
And you guessed right, the chicks hatched and fell off the wall one by one. Over the first couple of days we picked up four tiny chicks and gave them back to their mother. The others we discovered too late to save. Mother wasn’t best pleased thinking we were stealing her chicks and became a beast in her reaction to us. A truly ferocious, feathered, angry, noisy beast who only stopping her screeching and wing flapping when we returned the chick to her. She believes in her heart of hearts that we are nest robbers and not to be trusted.
She is so right. We quaked in our boots and ran away in fear and left her with what remained of her chicks.
Wooden edge attached by my Best Beloved to prevent if possible more chicks falling to the ground.
After a few days she must have decided enough was enough and started to herd her chickens towards the big chicken house. We, the big nasties indoors saw her and herded her and her wee brood into the vegetable garden which she has inhabited for the last nearly 6 weeks. She has interrupted our weeding, our watering, our digging, our planting, our tying up of tomatoes, and our gathering for most of that time.
She is a vicious and dramatic flake of a chicken but a truly staunch mother hen.
Today she was expelled from the garden; out to trust her luck with the other 20 chickens that roam in our large garden.
We have Pavarotti, Big Mamma and her 2 sisters, Frankie and the other bantam mother and her 9 chickens (8 bantams and 1 New Hampshire Red), 2 young light Sussex nearly point of lay we hope, and the 3 hussies from next door – who eat here, roam here, lay their eggs goodness knows where, but sleep next door.
We did do it nicely – we took plenty of chicken crumbles and we fed her and her brood at the garden gate and then outside the gate and while she calmly ate there my Best Beloved moved the nesting box and water supply outside as well. We did feed nearly all the other chickens as well – so Best Beloved had to go back and fetch more dishes of wheat and even more chicken crumbles so that all the chickens would be fed and none would see the Sebright and her babies away from their food. A chicken gathering and party.
And now she has wandered off.
Will they be back for supper?
I do hope so.
there they are – OUTSIDE the fenced garden.
Now we just have to find the rabbit that lives in the garden eating the greens and hopping away when ever we enter