Hormonal Hens?

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The old and the new Ladies are here together in one place but wow what a week of turmoil it’s been! It’s like having a load of hormonal teenagers at home – I’m laughing to myself.

The first couple of weeks with the three new Ladies went well. Everyone went to bed where they were supposed to and slowly the group has begun to merge at times during the day. It felt like progress until Tuesday evening.

I always check that all the Ladies are accounted for each evening. There were only two of the new Ladies in their house. So I set about trying find her at dusk. I failed but at 6am the following morning, there was Lucy at my kitchen patio doors. She was demanding breakfast! I grabbed my wellies and a jacket, picked her up and took her back to her house.

That evening at dusk, I watched the trio wonder across the garden towards our Hampshire gate heading for home. All of a sudden Lucy stops and doubles back. What’s she up to? I thought to myself. She must have heard me in the kitchen as she looked straight at me. It must have looked like a real comedy as I spent the next few minutes ducking every few seconds as I watched to see what she was up to.

Opposite the kitchen is very narrow hedge. Lucy was looking up and down at it. At one point I thought she was going to fly up at the windows of the old barn but she ducked inside the bush. I waited a few minutes to see if she’d remerge but she didn’t. The bush was so condensed I ended up having to ask one of our holiday guests to hold the hedge back whilst I pulled her out. Lucy wasn’t amused as I took her home.

Next I discovered Spangle was missing! I found her fairly quickly fortunately, she was broody and clucking away in an outside nestbox. I returned her to the house and shut the door. However, I noticed a dead rat on the floor in the pen! Tried as I might I couldn’t remove despite telling myself out loud that it was dead. I walked next door to borrow a neighbour. So the rat was dealt with but Spangle had escaped again. She was just nestling down in the outside nestbox looking very proud of herself. I picked her up and let her fly up to her 10ft high perch, she’s the only one who likes to sleep way up there.

The kids/Ladies were in bed finally – I needed a cup of tea! 😉

 

Look Lively Lovely Ladies

Ok so the Ladies are our hens but they have such characters you’d almost think they were humans.

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Friends of my neighbours asked if I would like to have their hens as they’re having to travel quite a lot at the moment. Could we manage another 3 I thought to myself. Well two hens were getting quite old and not laying any more so I said yes.

We now have 10 hens!

I’d planned on nestling all 3 on their roosting place at dusk with the others but that didn’t happen. They arrived fairly early in the morning following an hour and a half journey. I couldn’t leave them in a box so put them in the spare run and shut the dividing door off. They had a good sized outdoor area fenced off and a hen house to themselves.

The other Ladies came to see what all the commotion was about. They were running up and down outside the pen. I treated them all to some mealworms whic20160124_122923.jpgh was something new to mine. I left them to it for a couple of hours and as the others were still hanging around outside I thought I’d try to let them all into the unfenced area.

Big mistake – all three of the new hens flew at the older ones. Two of them stood up to the new ones but little Speckle (bantom) was completely mesmerised by this attack. She stood there startled and in shock. Time to separate them. In fact I left them apart until Saturday when I could be around to keep an eye on things.

Lucy (new) immediately rose up and bumped chests with Marmalade and that was it. Nothing more from anyone. They’ve been keeping with their own two groups still but in time I’m sure that’ll change. Spangle is not exactly impressed still and makes the strangest of noises the second she feels someone is encroaching her space.

All was quiet, in fact too quiet so I went to investigate. The older group became rebels and crossed the farmyard, gone under the gate, walked up next doors gravel drive, through their garden up to the back of their place. Why? Oh well they discovered they had a bird feeder. Each time a b20160123_113925.jpgird ate food they were there underneath to catch the remnants. Crafty little ladies aren’t they.

So I’m going to do a rain dance – the Ladies won’t venture over there in the pouring rain. Batten down the hatches guys let the dance commence. 😉