Tuesday, 17 August 2010

And the eggs just keep coming

This morning I decided to do without the morning acrobatics seeing as the hens seem to be just fine going up and down the ramp on their own. After a few minutes of letting it down out they came, one by one and made a run, or a waddle, for their food and water. I still get such a thrill from seeing them walking about, but now their pen seems far too small and I am longing to let them out and merge them with the rest of the flock (which incidentally don’t belong to me) in the much larger enclosure. I’ve been told I have to wait a month but I hate seeing them pecking at the wire like they want to get out. I may have to get some advice and see if I can wait just two weeks.
It seems that the hens don’t lay over night. They like to have a little stretch, some breakfast and then one by one they go up to the coop to lay their egg, and sure enough at about ten am we have 2 or 3 eggs delivered. I can’t resist going up to the hen house every half hour to see what they are up to and almost every time they amaze me with some new antics.
 One of the hens (I still can’t really tell them apart other than Ginger), had made herself a dust bath by scratching away all the grass and was in heaven rolling around kicking up the dirt. I never realised hens like dust baths but it has something to do with keeping parasites off their feathers. What dumbfounds me is how on earth does she know how to do this? She hasn’t learned it from her mother or even watched other birds doing it, yet there she was for a good fifteen minutes fluffing out her feathers in the dust rolling onto her back and rubbing her neck into the ground obviously in a pure poultry rapture.Later that morning
Teddy and I went up again to see if we can spot any more dust bathing, but instead we found one of the hens in the coop sitting on the straw. She was busy making herself a proper nest, gathering up the straw around her body with her beak. It was so cute I nearly cried. These poor poor birds have been denied these simple pleasures for so long, yet at the first opportunity here they are doing what hens do. Even Teddy was delighted with the sight and kept wanting to open the coop to watch her. The next visit to the coop revealed yet another egg, right in the middle of the nest (see picture above).
Teddy had this egg fried for lunch and declared it yummy.

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