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Then there’s this garden drama

In this hole, there lives a chicken. At least, I hope she’s still there – I haven’t seen her today.

She’s a jaunty little orange poland hen who vanished over the weekend, presumed devoured. But then she appeared briefly the next morning, nervous and starving hungry, before zooming out of reach and disappearing. Same again the following afternoon.

Broody! I knew they had a hidden place they were laying eggs (I get more eggs when they’re locked up), but I’ve looked all over and couldn’t find it. I finally managed to follow her back to this hole.

It goes way back and is too small for the fox (I hope). It’s covered in layers of brushwood. I think she’s okay in there.

It’s about six feet from the bin that It raids at night

But here’s my dilemma: I’m pretty sure she’s sitting on duds. They’ve been laying there (or somewhere hidden) for months. And, anyway, if they aren’t duds, the LAST thing I need are more chickens. Giving them away wouldn’t be easy, either – they’re mixed breed mongrels and chicken keepers are snooty about that.

I could try to catch her and snap her out of it, but it’s awfully distressing for the chicken. Not to mention the eggs, if they’ve started to germinate.

Pekins go broody at the drop of a hat – they’re famous for it – and I have plenty of experience shooing them off empty nesting boxes. But this girl is not a pekin. She is serious, is sitting on actual eggs, and has a shot at being a mama. I really hate to interfere.

One way or t’other, we’ll know on the 4th of July.

June 23, 2021 — 6:46 pm
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