Birthday cake, broodiness, and reintroduction
October 11, 2009 § 1 Comment
We gave the girls an Omelette-cake to celebrate the Peeps and Sammies’ second birthday yesterday. (For those who wonder about such things, it was a Spanish Omelette, and used seven egg whites that we had left over from other cooking, plus one extra egg, some cubed roast potato, and some cubed roast lamb. )
It took about three minutes to completely disappear. As you can see from the photo, there was much food-running, with girls carrying chunks of omelette bigger than their own heads off to a corner where they could wolf it down (relatively) unmolested.
Having had our longest ever spell without anyone going broody, Venus has decided to return us to normality. She’s always been prone to making ungodly noises – seagull shrieks to greet us, shrieks of fury at being disturbed on the nest (accompanied by some truly vicious pecks), and more shrieks at night if we have the back door open too long for her liking, or if someone is perched where she wants to be. And these noises have been getting louder, more frequent, and more unpleasant. And now she’s added the broody bok-bok, and taken to stomping around looking like she plans to murder someone (entirely possible) when she can’t get into the nestbox.
Even if we did want to raise another batch of chicks this year, Venus is the last hen we’d use. For one thing, she’s pretty clumsy. Huge and fluffy, but clumsy – stands on her own eggs quite often. God knows how chicks would survive. And she’s the least people-friendly of all our girls. Even Ella will tolerate humans, and sometimes even seem to like being stroked. But Venus is the last one to come up, the first to back away, and the only one who has drawn blood (admittedly this only happens – so far – when she’s on the nest, but that’s the point). You have to assume that any chicks she raised would be pretty feral. So it’s a matter of keeping her away from the nestbox, and waiting for her to snap out of it. Poor girl. Hormones really do mess her around.
And to round-out our weekend, we’ve got Frida installed in one end of the Winter Garden run, with the bach house attached for her sleeping quarters. She and Poppy have spent some time pacing up and down, threatening murder and carnage (sigh), but hopefully the novelty of doing so will wear off pretty soon.