I ran down to the allotment this morning to do two things. First to dose up Millie and second, to check on Trixy. When I arrived, Trixy wasn’t to be seen in the run. A good sign. Rather than disturb her, I walked down to the main coop.
Both the bantams were hiding in the new nest box with the big girls and Tommy outside in the run. Once Millie had her syringe of cider vinegar, I collected a solitary egg. Tommy was looking increasingly like he wanted to take a chunk out of my legs so I beat a hasty retreat. Over in the new coop, I topped up the girls grit and checked that they had food and water. With everyone seemingly happy and enjoying a other day of sunshine, I went back over to the Omlet to check on Trixy.
The shriek of anger that greeted me when I opened the nest box door, hinted at her being broody. Cautiously, I reached my hand towards her. Instantly, she raised her hackles and tried to peck me. Another good sign. But the question was, is she settled on being broody? We would only know if she stayed on the nest box the rest of the day. However, it’s important to isolate a broody as other hens may distract her from sitting. The difficulty is when to move a broody. Too early and she may decide she isn’t broody, too late and she may come off the eggs too early. It’s a difficult balance.
When I popped down to check on Trixy in the afternoon, I found her equally as angry at being disturbed on her nest as in the morning. Pleased that she had spent several hours on the nest without leaving, I dashed across to tell Cliff the exciting news. He had some news of his own. Sadly, Koko has passed away a few days ago. She was not only a beautiful dog but a wonderfully faithful companion to Cliff. I’m not a dog fan, actually being rather scared of them. But Koko was the gentlest, kindest dog I have met – I will miss her very much. There are very few dogs who achieve the Gold Standard of approval from me. Koko was definitely one of them. Upsetting as hearing about Koko was, Cliff also had some good news. One of his work contacts found out that Koko had died and hatched a plan. When Cliff visited him, he told Cliff to join him on a drive and took him to a local farm. There Cliff met a gorgeous little of Springer spaniel puppies. Cliff met all the different puppies and other dogs on the farm, and left after reserving two liver and white puppies. He will be picking them up on Friday and plans to bring them to the allotment on Saturday! With Cliff’s experience raising spaniels, I am sure they will have an incredible life as well as keeping Cliff on his toes!
Realising I had missed a call from my husband, I called back to find he had managed to lock himself out. Promising him I would be back home as soon as possible, I grabbed a cardboard box and lifted a protesting Trixy into it. For good measure, I put in the two eggs she had been sitting on. There is no experience like holding a cardboard box with an irate broody hen as you walk home. As soon as I got back, I put her into the temporary broody coop. I used a medium-sized cardboard box filled with bedding to create a comfy nest. My husband put the eggs in the nest and I put Trixy into the box. It was a tense moment waiting to see if she would settle down straight away. Thankfully she did! To keep the nest box dark, I draped a towel over ones end of the coop. Before leaving her in peace, I put in a water bowl and a feeder for when she takes a break from sitting on the eggs.
Once Trixy was settled, I messaged Foxy’s breeder and let him know. Happily, he had some hatching eggs available for us to collect after dinner. We walked across and collected a mix of nine bantam hatching eggs (blue partridge, gold and porcelain millefleur).
Whilst my husband picked her off the nest, I removed the two infertile eggs and filled the nest with the nine hatching eggs. She was very angry at being removed from the nest! My husband placed her down in front of the nest. After a few seconds of glaring furiously at us, she turned and spotted the eggs. Instantly, she started organising the eggs and sat determinedly on them all, facing us just in case we tried to move her again.
So here we go! Here’s hoping Trixy stays on the eggs for the next 18-20 days!