well not exactly before they are hatched, but before they are delivered! As I mentioned before I am now down to two hens, Brown Hen and White Hen. However I have three on order from the town depending on whether a friend can collect them today or not.
So I have been freshening up the hen house, putting fresh hay into the nesting boxes (which ordinarily the blessed hens won't use), plus fresh water and plenty of food as the hens (old and new) will need to be shut in for a few days. As gales are forecast for the next couple of days this won't be a bad thing and I can then also see who is laying! I think both my current hens have stopped laying. White Hen definitely has, but Brown Hen might be sneakily laying somewhere in the byre. As I don't usually shut them in I'm never quite sure!
I have also had to evict the cat from the henny hoose - Button loves to sit in there as the mice are attracted by the hen food. I'm sure she just sits there with her mouth open hoping one will jump in! I'm not really sure a cat sitting for three hours in the same position constitutes "an active cat" though! And I think she is quite a successful mouser too, judging by the evidence.....
Anyway- I am looking forward to the arrival of the girls and fresh eggs again - but as I say I shouldn't count my chickens till they arrive!