We have pipping!

November 17, 2010 § 2 Comments

No sight, sound or sign of anything all day, so I went to get Poppy out for what would (hopefully!) be her last toilet break until her eggs had all hatched. Her toilet break begins with me lifting her very carefully off the nest, making sure I lift her wings away from her body first (they can tuck eggs there sometimes), and putting her on the sandy floor of the broody house, pointing her head out the door. It usually takes her a good couple of minutes to restart her brain, but then she spots the water and grain outside and heads for a quick top-up. After a mouthful or two she usually goes for a mad flap, accompanied by lots of squawking. (I’ve taught myself not to respond to this – it looks disturbingly like someone trying to escape the coming burdens of motherhood, but it’s just the hen trying to stretch as many muscles as possible in the shortest possible time.)

She’d just headed off for a quick dustbath, and I took the opportunity to check the eggs. And saw a cracked bit in the middle of one, just where a hen’s toes will sometimes crack an egg if they’re clumsy on the nest. (Ella and Venus were/are particularly prone to this.) So I picked it up to have a better look, and …

… it started peeping at me! Yep, it was a chick making its way out into the (suddenly rather colder) wide world. I put it back quickly, and noticed two more eggs with distinct cracks, and the unmistakeable sound of pissed-off chicks who want their big fluffy mama back in place now please! Eggs BR 1, BR2 and SX1. Woohoo!

Poppy hadn’t had a poo yet, but when I gestured her back towards the broody was quick to scramble back inside. Which probably means we’ll have a repeat of the whole tappen affair. Oh well.


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