Wednesday 6 June 2012
The hens have been loving the good weather too. As you can see one of the cockerels is exerting his dominance. Fortunately he is quite friendly and was just looking for worms.... I think!
Several hens have gone broody already. I've managed to limit the clutch of eggs they are sitting on by removing new ones regularly. Though one hen was in the barn where the sheep were kept for lambing and I couldn't get to her. So who knows how many she will hatch! One hen had successfully hatched one chick at the end of last week but I only spotted it as I was heading off for the weekend and didn't have time to box hen and chick into the barn. When I returned it had disappeared. Sadly probably predated by one of the crows or gulls around. Such is life.....
Current broody hen
Came across this clutch of eggs in an old manger - have removed most and just left a couple for the hen to sit upon. If I remove them all the hens just goes somewhere else and produces another clutch. So better that I control numbers this way really. And yes, they have nesting boxes in their hen house, but they like peace and quiet so tend to sneak off to the barns to lay eggs. At least these are accessible for collecting ....at the moment!
And if you are wondering why one has a red cross on. Well when I come across a nest, I mark one with a red cross and leave that in the nest for a few days. The hens then lay fresh eggs around it. If they come back and find an empty nest they sneak off and lay somewhere else. Then after a few days I remove the egg with the red cross and throw it onto the shore (probably not a good one to eat!), and mark another one. That way I get regular fresh eggs and not too many chicks if a hen does go broody!