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Breakfast in bed

So this morning, I open the various chicken run doors, and all the chickens tumble out except Vita. I worry about Vita — she’s the big, beautiful, shy chicken all the others peck on. She lives in a state of perpetual, panting anxiety, does Vita.

So I looked in the house, and there she was, sitting on the floor, panting anxiously.

I lifted her out and sat her on my knee and was having a good look at her when something hot and heavy landed in my lap. “Great,” thinks I, “Monday morning and I’ve already been shat upon.”

But, no — it was a egg! Poor Vita was trying to lay one when I swept her into my lap.

Her second, not her first. Her first was day before yesterday. I knew it was coming because this usually shy bird was all over the place, under hedges, hopping into the kitchen cabinets, flying onto my arm, clearly looking for a quiet spot. I popped her on the nest in the big girls’ house, and soon she disburdened herself of a perfect tiny egg.

Instinct is a wonderful thing.


Comment from Naughty Stoats, Frisky Weasels
Time: August 1, 2011, 11:34 pm

There is an eagle cam nest in Decorah, IA that I habitually watch.
Any chance for a chook cam?

Comment from S. Weasel
Time: August 1, 2011, 11:50 pm

The cam part is easy enough, but I think getting a live cam hosted is pretty fraught.

Anyway, when they’re fun to look at, they’re all over the garden. And when they’re stuck in one place, in the run, they’re boring. They just sit there and heave these huge chicken sighs.

Of course, once per night you get the chance to see Miz Fox turn up and sniff around the chicken house.

Comment from SCOTTtheBADGER
Time: August 2, 2011, 1:42 am

YAY, Vita!

Comment from drew458
Time: August 2, 2011, 2:07 am

Is it true that the first eggs laid by a chicken are inedible? Can’t remember where or when I heard that, but this seems the right time to ask.

Comment from Naughty Stoats, Frisky Weasels
Time: August 2, 2011, 2:36 am

Inedibility is adversely proportional to the extent of hunger.

Do the chooks have a dust bath spot or in wet England it’s not that simple?

Comment from catnip
Time: August 2, 2011, 5:17 am

Careful, Stoatie, lest Vita begins to believe the laying of an egg must be preceded by the laying-on of your hands.

Comment from Nina
Time: August 2, 2011, 5:25 am

Well, congrats to Vita for her magnificent achievement!

Both of them!

Comment from S. Weasel
Time: August 2, 2011, 11:39 am

Never heard that, Drew. I ate the first eggs of the other two, and I’m here to tell the tale.

Oh, Naughty Stoats, they have dust baths ALL OVER the garden. Wherever a flower bed has just been weeded, or there’s a spot where the grass doesn’t grow. I can think of five or six chicken wallows in the front garden alone. They’re tiny girls, though, so a wallow for them is no more than a slight depression in the soil.

And this is sunny Sussex. It’s either the sunniest or the driest spot in England. I always forget which. At any rate, the climate is (for the most part) splendid where we are.

You know those early Spring days, where it’s warm in the sun, but you step into the shade and cool air is radiating up from the ground? That’s what most of the Summer is like here.

Comment from Naughty Stoats, Frisky Weasels
Time: August 2, 2011, 1:27 pm

The air too has a rich whiff of a saltiness. It could be the sunrise sea breeze from Rottingdean, redolent of kelp and periwinkles. It could be an ammonia vapor from chicken deposits. Fermenting rumination of Southdown sheep and Weald cattle will assure you shall never lack for airborne yeast.

Aah, a veritable Gadda-da-Vida, this Green and Pleasant sparsely populated Land. Of more bucolic sanctuary it is hard to conceive. It is a clime where true art could be bottled in clay vessels and brought forth before the finest of discerning connoisseurs. And for this, may I say, I shall be forever in your debt.

Comment from MikeW
Time: August 4, 2011, 4:42 pm


Comment from MikeW
Time: August 5, 2011, 2:04 pm

Boiled Eggs and Peacekeepers? What the heck? Oh, it’s the Guardian…

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