Impressions of A Rooster

Hello readers, it has come to my attention, usually at about 6.30 am everyday, that one of our hens, Nancy Pants, is crowing at the back door. Of late we have had a night time thief, coming into the run and eating the feed left out for the girls, in an attempt to not have to get up early to feed them, but a Possum I suspect is scoffing the food, so we haven’t been leaving any out for a week.

This has turned Nancy into a psuedo rooster, she has found a way to escape the run, and she hops up the back stairs, stands in the alcove for maximum acoustic effect, and lets rip her version of a rooster, which  sounds like a rooster, who’s not very sure about what he’s saying, sort of a questioning crow at the end. Imagine a town cryer ‘ hear ye hear ye hear ye, it’s 6.30 am and all is w-e-l-l,  I —  t-h-i-n-k? Is it 6.30am? ‘

It seems funny now, maybe that’s because it’s eleven am, but I can assure you, I’m not laughing at 6.30 am in the morning, more like swearing while trying a boot Nancy Pants back down the stairs, with a friendly slipper. Oh the fun never ends.

I’ve try several times to post the vid on here of Renee’s elephant impression , and i can’t so here’s the link to it.  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=V4HhQckJhl4

feeding frenzy

Advertisements

Nancy’s Gone Broody Again

Hi there keepers, it seems Nancy has gone broody again, I didn’t expect her to do that in the wettest part of winter, I thought her maternal instinct would tell her that this isn’t the right time of year to bringing chicks into the world, but not so, she has managed to find her way back in behind the neighbours shed, even though they have screen off the outdoor area where the shed is, she has performed her mission impossible stunts to enable her to get back into her favourite spot.

I recovered 6 eggs from underneath her the other day, two of which didn’t pass the float test, so she must have been laying back in there for a couple over two weeks, there were at least another four eggs under her, and at least one had broken, for the eggs I retrieved were covered in yolk and pieces of broken shell. She is spending her nights in there now, which seems to have cut down the fighting for position in the coop , come roosting time. The last time Nancy went broody, it was for some 10 weeks, I wondered how long this one will last, as the weather is very different, cold and wet, I  imagine the warm of the coop will draw her back sooner this time.

Nancy’s Back

Hi there keepers, just a quick update on the broody hen Nancy, it seems she has decided to return, it has been about 6 weeks since she set up home in Mani’s garden, well behind his shed to be precise. I have been over and physically pushed her out of the nest, trying to get her to come back, as she wasn’t eating, just sitting there with no eggs under her. Recently she has been coming over for feeds, and yesterday she came over the fence, and hung about all day, it was only at sunset she thought about going back to mani’s shed, but I caught her and put her in the tempory holding pen, (a welsh dresser that lives on the back deck), and this morning she seems to have resumed her place in the flock, bossing every one else around, however I think she has been knocked back a bit in the order, Dorothy the biggest hen now, doesn’t seemed too bothered by Nancy’s low grumbles.

It’s all over the place

Hi there readers, well you know, I try, I keep upgrading the facilities, however on occasion I have to go and earn some money, which of course means being away from the hens for the day, as it turns out I’ve been busy the past 2 weeks, and in that time the girls have moved nests, were down to 1 egg a day, Nancy is still broody but not laying, the coop le grande has come to a grinding halt, and the garden is in need of some t.l.c., it is frustrating to say the least.

I feel caught in a Catch 22 ( great book by the way), if I work from home I get a bit stir crazy, and if I work away from home, I end up with twice as much to do when I am here. This may sound like I’m complaining, well it isn’t, this is just one way I find useful to make it all seem better, ranting about it, seems to lighten the load, getting off your chest so to speak, or should I say breast as this is a chicken blog.

Manuella put her self into the coop last night, seems they are all friends now, well to a degree, not as pecky since Nancy has been absent. The rat seems to have disappeared, not in a David Copperfield way, more in a eaten by a cat way I think, as a stray tabby has been lurking around over the past couple of weeks, not really a threat to the girls, as she is smaller than most of them, and I’ve seen them fight off  ‘Leroy ‘  the Cornish Rex cat, known by some of the neighbours as ‘ the bird killer ‘, very sharp claws indeed, as he is brown, we have nicked named him, ‘ the  baddest cat in town ‘ .

Nancy’s Secret

Well hello there readers, firstly I must say, I was bowled over by the response from the ‘ thankyou for your support ‘ note,  thanks again, but on to the serious business of the broody Nancy.

As some of you might read nancy has been disappearing for days on end, only breifly coming back on some days for about twenty minutes to grab a snack, this behaviour to the experienced chicken keeper, would lead to only one conclusion, however as we are  novice chicken keepers, we thought she had just had enough of the new chicks, and was losing her place as top hen, so decided to ‘ fly the coop’, ( first time I’ve been able used that expression in it’s proper place), when she returned a second time, I started to think that she is laying somewhere secret, as Nancy has only ever layed one egg before to our knowledge, it seemed unlikely.

She turned up for the third time on Sunday, which meant as I was at home all day, I would be able to follow her when she left. They know when they are being watched, so I had to potter around the garden pretending to do something other than watching her, always looking out through the sides of my eyes. 

Eventually she made her move, down to the bamboo fence, one last stratch around to make it look like she wasn’t doing anything, then she popped through a hole in the fence and heading from the neighbours back porch, where they have their outdoor furniture arranged under cover, I lepted the fence, and hid behind a shrubery, I’d cleared this with the neighbours first, I don’t just go leaping into people’s garden willy nilly, might look strange, well from behind that bush I saw Nancy doing what looked liked something from mission impossible. She goes into the seating area, flies up over the back of one of the sofa’s, lands on the shelf with the plants on, then works her way along the shelf, going around the pot plants, jumps off the end onto a small wall, and then squeezes in between the shed and trellis fence, which is covered with ivy, talk about effort.

As she was in such a tight space she could not turn around, I was able to remove four of the eggs that had slipped out the back of her, I’m sure she is still sitting on at least 3 more, at least I know where she is now.

The Grand Deluxe Coop is under construction, this time with nesting boxes, all this sneaking around the gardens following chickens is,  A . Very time consuming and, B . I look silly doing it, if you didn’t know, I probably look like a peeping tom, sneaking around hiding behind neighbours bushes.

Missing!!!

Hi there keepers, well grave news I fear, Nancy has gone it seems, she has not return to the coop now for two nights, she came back breifly the first day, but no sign of her at all yesterday, she didn’t leave a note or forwarding address, quiet rude. It has been suggested to me that she has gone broody, however she wasn’t laying before hand, infact as far as I’m aware she has only ever layed 1 egg while she has been in our keeping. Is it possible that she is starting to lay , but wants to do that away from the others?

The other reason I thought might be at the bottom of this behaviour, is that now the chicks are growing up, she may feel her role as top hen is under threat from Dororthy, who is now bigger than the shavers, and still has some growing to do, she’s definately not scared of the older girls any more. Also I’ve realised that the coop needs to be bigger, there’s enough room for the 8 to sleep, but there are on top of each other a bit, usually 3 up 5 down, but it gets messy alot quicker with 8 in there.

My initial reaction when Nancy went missing was, ho hum, she doesn’t lay, she pecks all the others to distraction, and costs us to keep her, however it’s hard not to feel attached to her after 6mths, now I’m starting to feel a bit sad that she might not come back again, it’s a big bad world for a lonely chicken.  So if you are reading this in an internet cafe nearby please come home Nancy.

Dirty Stop Out

Hi keepers, there seems to be something going on with these girls, maybe it’s the heat getting to them, two weeks of constant 30 + days, one’s moulting, two have moved nests, and now Nancy the Boss,  who doesn’t lay, seems to have gone ‘ walkabout’, she left the garden at about 2pm yesterday and was no where to be found. I searched in the usual spots, and was getting a little concerned when she hadn’t returned by lock down.

I was sure she would be there this morning for breakfast, but to my surprise no Nancy, I even thought she would emerge from her overnight roost when I threw out the feed first thing, but no. I decided to take a look around the area again, met a couple of neighbours on route, no sightings to report, so I gave up. She reappeared as casual as you like at 2pm, same time she left, strange, she was very hungry, no food in her gullet at all, maybe she discovered a rip in time, and was in a parallel universe for 24hrs, or abducted by aliens, if only they could talk.

' What's that for?'

' What's that for?'