This week has seen a distinct correlation between the state of my brains and the state of the eggs my broodies have been sat on. Addled.
The scrambling of my brain’s functions is just one of those things I and all my friends seem to be experiencing. Forgetting what you have gone upstairs for and why you are there in the first place and names disappearing from your tongue or maddeningly on the tip of it. Why am I sat here typing for example. But the eggs.
The eggs were under two of my soundest bantams that would sit on bricks if it were possible for a brick to hatch. Never budged. A clutch of cuckoo maran eggs under one and chocolate brown orpingtons under the other. Both clutches bought against expert opinion (John’s) and with my highest hopes off ebay. I am a sucker for a good advert.
Show me a winning set of words and a cute picture of the goods and I am clicking away on that “place your bid” icon like a fiend. In the cases of these eggs I just wanted something for my broodies to sit on.
Our bantams and hens are a plain lot and I fancied something a little different.
Last winter my beautiful speckeldies were all scoffed by a marauding fox. This year, touch everything wooden, no foxes have got into the hen house and the guinea fowl hang on grimly to the branches of the apple trees. Well out of a fox’s reach. And jaws.
When the snow fell it was enlightening to see how a fox had been circling the hen run looking for a way in, so there is no doubt that they are out there watching and waiting. One night of forgetting to drop the hatch on the hen house and close the gate and that would be it.
But now I have the problem of two bantams mourning the loss of their clutches of eggs. We tested the eggs in warm water to see if they were rocking but all the eggs just floated. And then exploded when I threw them away. Very smelly. I have dummy eggs in the hen house boxes for the hens to lay to. These two bantams are sat tight on the false eggs, grimly determined that they will hatch them.
But there is hope. Whilst moving some hay bales this morning John has found a little brown bantie who I had seen around occasionally in the day but who had not gone back into the hen house at night. Mystery solved. She has a clutch of eggs in a hay stack. A bit precarious but she seems very settled.
I do not know how long she has been sitting and she has a very sharp peck when I felt under her to check the eleven warm little eggs.
So for once I am going to listen to John, not be seduced into buying anything different off ebay and go with home grown bantams. For the moment.