Although mummy hen was sat on six eggs, only 2 hatched.
It's a little disappointing but you really shouldn't count your chickens and it's not right to be sad at new arrivals. So we removed the unhatched eggs, resisted the temptation to open them to find the reason why they hadn't hatched - that's a little bit gruesome for me - and got on with trying to ensure mummy hen was up to the job of keeping babies safe. She, like us, soon forgot about the unhatched eggs.
Not all hens make good mums and since this was her first time we weren't sure how she would get on. Worst case scenario is that she would eat them, it does happen, but she seems to be pretty much a model mummy. She and her babies are alone in what we term the maternity wing.
But later today or tomorrow morning we shall move her into another space where she and the chicks will have access to the outside and be able to scratch on the ground, in a secure run of course.
The broody coop is now a permanent addition to the hen run in the hope that future broody hens will be happier in there. If not, then it can always be used for ducks - which will be appearing once we sort out a pond. There are always plans.
The warm weather has arrived and we are settling into a summer routine which unfortunately has meant a lot of sitting on the couch for me. I discovered some free online courses run by prestigious American universities and have enrolled myself in a couple. The courses are actually finished so I am not able to submit coursework or get a certificate at the end but all the lectures are available and I am really enjoying filling the gaps in my formal education without any of the pressure that usually accompanies such things. I think I've said it before but I love the internet!
Summer jobs include daily watering of the veggies and flowering plants. The veggie plot is producing better than ever, but the soil still needs much improvement. Success with seeds is very sketchy (due in some part to mice) but the plug plants are good even if the choice is limited. Our watering system is always needing refinement and still not quite the perfect solution but we are getting there.
The couch potato lectures are going to be severely cut back on as grass cutting begins this week. That means we adopt very traditional roles for a while, early starts for him and a lot of time in the house for me, ensuring suitable sustenance and pleasant surroundings for my hard working master when his labour is done. It's strangely comforting to adopt such roles for a while but only for a short while. Long term it turns normally enjoyable tasks into drudgery. I could rake up grass for a bit but since we have nowhere to store hay, we thought we would let it lie in situ this year and see if it rots down over winter. So there I am in the kitchen, baking pies and making jam and spinning some home grown organic cotton while waiting for the oven timer to ping and my man to come in from the fields, ah but life is good!
|The master at rest|