Guinea fowl are notoriously secretive about their nests

MY EYES are dim this morning after a couple of turns on the night shift. set of twins on one of my watches and triplets on John’s.

Bigger and better of course. There has been a real burst of lambs over the last few days and only a quarter of the flock are left to produce.

Must be the sunshine enticing the lambs out to play.

My eyes are not only blurry but cross eyed as well; from searching for the guinea fowl’s nest.

I know it must be somewhere, but where? Over the last few days I have found the odd tantalising guinea fowl egg laid in the paddock or hen run.

Guinea fowl are notoriously secretive about their nests. A friend who was given nine guineas necked them all for the freezer as he declared that they were useless at laying. Only to discover a massive nest of nearly one hundred eggs which they had hidden in a forest of nettles. But too late ....

To entice ours into laying in a communal nest, I have bought some dummy bantam eggs off the internet and placed them in likely looking clumps of nettles. Not the same as a guinea fowl egg, but near enough to my eyes. But not apparently to a guinea fowl’s. The cackles of horror that come from the gang when they discover these interlopers is as if they have discovered a murder in their midst. Which I suppose they have.

Guinea fowl eggs are very tasty and I immediately use any I find in my baking. So why not leave the eggs where they are and let them lay to them is the intelligent query?Which I would do but I suspect a black Labrador or naughty Jack Russell, finds them first.

They must attempt a mouthful, nearly crack their teeth and then drop the eggs. Guinea fowl eggs have shells like prefabricated concrete.

Guineas are also a suspicious breed. Very Machiavellian in their ways.

All scurry about as if up to no good with necks tucked down into their feathers attempting to disguise themselves around the farmyard. I have taken to spying on them. If they can be sneaky so can I. To no avail however.

Whilst searching for eggs I re-discovered the greenhouse amongst the weeds of the veg patch.

Time to clear out the corpses of last year’s tomato plants, cucumbers, chilli peppers and courgettes.

Needless to say John, the last of the great carnivores will eat none of them.

But before I chanced upon the greenhouse again, so had one of the ewes.

The sheep occasionally blunder through into the veg patch from an adjoining paddock. This old girl must have wandered in through the open door ( I am a very lazy gardener and would have forgotten to shut it) and then wandered straight out through the other end. Glass panes not withstanding.

So now we have an extremely well ventilated greenhouse with two entrances. One intentional, the other not.

Mrs Downs