I know nothing about hen psychology and now it's official!
As I have told you numerous times, Lotta the hen is broody and staying put on her eggs. A few days ago I thought she had altered her position a bit, she looked a bit higher up, so to speak. We know she eats and drinks, occasionally, so I just assumed she was avoiding cramp.
Unfortunately Lotta decided to have her nest in the favorite egg laying space, this threw everyone else's system into orbit. Pippi and Henrika have left their eggs somewhere in with the sheep and Darya is currently using their summer house, a small playhouse in their outside pen. Lina's eggs went missing a week ago. We have been scanning the countryside for them as the same thing happened last year and then she went missing, and almost got killed. This morning I saw where her eggs are ending up....
While cleaning the stable, I saw first hand Lina's way of dealing with the occupied egg laying box. She just, bold as brass, climbed on top of Lotta, produced one of her beautiful eggs and left. Lotta quickly tucked the egg under her and carried on. No wonder she seems to be levitating!
Have you seen the sweet movies about the Minions? Small, clever yellow things milling around, saving the earth from bad guys.... That will be us soon, if we don't figure out a way to stop Lina -knee deep in chicks. As Lina is as cuddly as a polar bear, this lot will be small bundles with super powers but hopefully still working for the great and good in life.
I should have put two and two together but as I can't count to ten without falling over, it did not occur to me that Lina was taking over the world. How to stop this is still in the planning stage, but it has to be off the table and into action soon! The funny thing is that I have seen Lotta chase Henrika and Darya away on a daily basis. She has just pecked them hard and yelled loudly until they've left. Clearly this is not done to our little bundle of joy called Lina and I should have known...
Darya is riding around on Molly's the sheep's back, enjoying the cooler weather. Monty has a new spring in his step - he probably believes that he was the one chasing the elk away last week. Bears have been roaming the countryside of late so we can only hope Monty does not meet any of them, now that he feels brave. It's a short step from brave to foolhardy, where cockerels are concerned.
My dear husband flashed his slightly tired smile when told about Lina's latest and commented something about instant incubation boxes. He is not so worried about additional beaks to feed and believes they will be hens.
Our famous five have started their lives as nomads. They stroll around the stable yard and disappear into the long grass in ditches appearing to have lots of fun. Thankfully they are very loud so we can locate them just by listening to their constant beeping. In between their adventures they stay playing in their little house or they practice their flying.
Mr. Chip finds them entertaining although I don't think he can hear them. By being so nice to them, our dear dog is teaching the young hens not to be frightened of dogs. This means that the little bit of self preservation instinct they possessed has gone for good. Mr. Chip means well but the result is that all our hens come running, when a dog turns up. Dog, fox, raccoon dog... You name it, they are not shy to meet them. Four legs and big teeth must be a new family friend, they say. They are a bit weary of hares, though...
Summer months, happy hens and mellow sheep. It could be worse.
Yesterday the first little yellow chicks made an appearance. I called our long suffering neighbour about how to move Lotta to a better nest. I was told that you mark the eggs in the nest so that you can remove the additional eggs on a daily basis. So our "Let's not stress the mother to be" was not a good plan. Now we know...
Monty is a father and keeping a safe distance from the whole thing. We all knew when the first chick arrived. On Friday morning our sheep decided, all of a sudden, to come in to the stable. Then Monty and the older hens popped in, followed by some great tits and some sparrows. Lotta was making nattering noises and everything was quiet. It struck me that we were like a downcast version of a nativity play. I was the donkey....
Hundreds of years ago people used to put spiders web on wounds to stop the bleeding. Later on scientists discovered that the silk contains the vitamin K that helps reduce bleeding. They say that most spiders found in homes have adapted to a life indoors and would not make it, living outside again. This means that we can't carry them outside anymore. Good to know...
Enjoy the summer, we certainly try to....
A blog about a small holding in Southern Finland. Each original story is accompanied by a stunning watercolour illustration or resplendent photographs.