Fowl update

There’s a bit of a lull in the laundry, so I thought I’d take the opportunity to give you an update on the fowl front. Firstly, an introduction I think; meet Jenny, the only female from our group of four Aylesbury ducklings, soon to be introduced to MacRae. Of course we had to name her after our  friend, Jennifer, who generously donated the eggs to help in our quest for some new female blood after our last Cherry Valley duck died.

Lucky and Chance, MacRae’s other ladies, finally decided to dismount their ever-growing nest yesterday – before they needed a ladder to get into it! – so hopefully, MacRae will be a happy chappie with his three companions and will LEAVE BIGGLES ALONE! You may notice Jenny sporting a lovely purple bangle so that she’ll be easy to avoid when Kevin invades their house to ‘do the deed’ with the three drakes! We need their house empty fairly soon so that we can move the Muscovy ducklings in; they’re 8 weeks old now. Biggles has come back into lay, but the ducklings keep invading her box and making a right old mess of her nest.

Now that the Nest Thief has returned to the main coop, her chicks are rattling around in theirs, so we’ve made an arrangement which will hopefully mean that our six youngest chicks can move in with them, making better use of the space. Internally, I’ve divided the coop with chicken wire, so that both groups can get used to each other without any squabbling. The Nest Thief’s chicks still exit and enter by the pop-hole but at the moment, the main door of the coop is wedged open and an area around it fenced off temporarily, so that the new inhabitants can get their bearings. We’ll probably remove all barriers tomorrow and fingers crossed, they’ll all get along swimmingly. Hmmm.

And then there’s Brenda. We realised we hadn’t seen her for several days so Kevin went on a Brenda search. She’s found herself a lovely spot in the midst of a tall stand of Golden Rod, adjacent to the nest site which she started earlier but then abandoned after an egg got smashed in it. So now the question is, “Where will she take her newly hatched chicks to live?” Now that the wee chicks from the brooder are living happily (!) in their new, shared home, I thought I’d put some nice fresh bedding into the two brooder runs and leave the door open, making it look irresistible to a homeless hen with a bunch of kids! It’s in the same part of the garden as her nest, so should be easy for her to spot! Coincidentally, Brenda’s one surviving chick from last year, who lives up the tree with no concept of coop-life whatsoever, has also got a nest – somewhere. We’re fairly sure that she’s in the long grass where we used to keep the pigs, but searching such an wild, unkempt area isn’t feasible, so we’ll just have to await her arrival with chicks in tow, hopefully about a week from now. The thing is though, how will we be able to convince her to move into one of the new Des.Res.s for single mothers? They are at the opposite end of the garden. That’s another Hmmm then.

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