They will be here tomorrow

(from the 22nd march)

Am I broody or something? My hormones are playing havoc with me….The coming of this little ones is filling me with joy.

Last week Pierre was telling me: “don’t worry; sooner or later the fox will get them”. I don’t want to believe him. I have worked so hard to make sure no-one would be able to enter uninvited.

It’s true to say that his hens get eaten regularly. They are away quite a lot and have a string of friends opening and closing their chicken pen if you can call it that: a funny wonky sort of little box on stilts with a kind of miserable looking fence all around it. When I went there at Christmas his hens were standing in mud with nothing to eat. I had brought a handful of seeds and they’d jumped gladly on those. I remember thinking if I was a fox I would have found it so easy to get in there…

Last time they went away to his mum’s they couldn’t find their cat on their return. One night Juliet heard some noise from the roof and went to check it out. And it turned out the cat was stuck under the solar panel! Pierre climbed on the roof and brought down the cat. Everybody was happy and the cat had a good meal that night.  Apparently there had been some hunters around some days before and some shots had been fired which could explain why the cat got so freaked out that he took refuge on the roof. And then the refuge became a prison as he found himself stuck there…

A hen can live up to 10 years Google tells me and they lay eggs for the first 3 after which time ….you eat them. If our hens don’t get eaten by the fox or the pine marten, they won’t have to worry about the pan. I intend on designing a retirement home for them to move into when time is right and bring in some new girls to keep our intake of eggs. One does not eat one’s mates…

Serge had 2 hens in his garden giving him all he ever needed in terms of eggs for the kitchen and manure for his vegetables and his vegetable plot had become this incredible jungle with such a variety of great looking produce. Then one hen died and the other stopped laying eggs. Serge then had wanted to find a good home for his old hen and I’d said to him at the time: No worries, I am going to build a chicken pen and I will take your hen. But that was 4 years ago.

So his hen keeps on living its hen’s life with Serge. She goes with him everywhere as soon as he starts digging to plant or harvest some vegetable. When he pushes her away such that she doesn’t get in the way, she gets pissed off with him. How do you know she is pissed off I asked? Because she doesn’t talk to me for a few days he says laughing. And she doesn’t come to the kitchen window for scraps either.

Serge will be coming for a coffee after tomorrow and bring his hen. Apparently if you want to introduce a new hen to an established flock you should do it at night and in the morning the flock accepts the newcomer as if she had been there all along….I said to Serge better come one evening then.

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