Eggs for Adelaide, 2014
March 2, 2014 § Leave a comment
We’ve been holding off on posting about this, because we were a bit worried about whether her Adelaidie-ship would stay broody or not. But stay broody she has – we moved her into the broody coop by the house as soon as we had the Bach refurbished and ready for Poppy and her Poppettes. Sunday 9th Feb, nice and late so it was dark and she was mostly asleep, we shifted her. She spent that night sitting on the wooden divider that separates the nest area from the rest of the broody floor – can’t have been terribly comfortable. Anyhow, we decided to leave her completely to her own devices for a couple of days – other than opening the house door in the morning and shutting it again at night, we tried to ignore her. She came out late on the Monday afternoon to do a huge broody poo, drink some water and nibble some grass, but then went straight back in and onto the nest. Not as obsessively focussed as Poppy, but nothing like the distraction she showed two years ago when we gave her the opportunity to brood. So on Wednesday night, we tucked a dozen eggs under her.
Since then she’s been really good. She got into a routine of beating at the door to be let out for her break at around the middle of the day, if she could hear us nearby. The broody was within visual distance of my work room, so I could see her come out without her seeing me. And if I did nothing to indicate my presence, she would just have a quick drink, a poo, a bit of a scritch, a bit of a shake, and then head back in. But if it was fine and I was out with Poppy and her bubs, I got in to the habit of opening the broody run and putting water, food and a dustbath nearby. Interestingly she didn’t even come out if the weather was bad. But on a hot day, she would go for a mad flap and run before I had even got halfway across the lawn. Then she’d have a great time scritching all the moss out of one area of the lawn, and trotting after me to see if I was doing anything interesting. At first I was worried, because she seemed willing to stay outside for what seemed like too long, and I had to pick her up and take her back to the broody. (Once there, she was all business – eat, drink, back to the nest.) But on one particularly hot day I decided to give her the benefit of the doubt – just stayed sitting on the lawn, watching her. And by the twenty-five minute mark, she took herself back inside,quite happily. Hooray!
She is quite gorgeous when she goes back to her eggs. She doesn’t bok-bok or make those little sub-vocal puttering noises like Poppy does. Instead she chirrups to them. A brisk, slightly excited clucking, the whole time she’s climbing back in/on.
We forced her out for a poo-break this afternoon, and her demeanor has changed. Hopefully that means the eggs are pipping, and she can hear them talking to her. Unfortunately the weather is forecast to be horrendous – rain and severe southerly gales. So I don’t think she’ll be coming out, and we will have to be very careful about looking in. We’ve got her in the most sheltered spot we can, so hopefully all will be well. It’s a slight concern, not knowing how she’ll react to her babies when they start to hatch. I think I will have to make a point of checking – as long as I’m super careful and pick my time, it should be ok. She’s a monkey-loving girl. I’ll see how things go.
In the table is the list of all the eggs, with the usual details. We candled much later than usual this time, which has the nice result of making everything very clear. We set three Lily x Patrick, three Gabby x Patrick, and six Holly x Lola. It would be nice to get some Gabby babies, because she really is a lovely big girl, and probably the best markings of any we’ve raised since Liselle’s. Lily babies of course are utterly precious. (Freya and Remy are darlings, and growing like weeds.) The Holly eggs (if they hatch – proverbs, and all that) are going to be our first experience of sex-link chicks. A Barred Rock hen and a Rhode Island Red cock will produce a cross known as a Black Rock (a.k.a. Black Sex Link , Rock Reds or Black Star). The chicks should hatch out black, but the males will have a white spot on their heads. The females are quite handsome birds – black with red breasts, a bit like a Barnevelder to look at. The males look essentially like a barred rock, but with some red feathers. And because they are a hybrid, they should be quite vigorous birds. (Supposed to be very good layers, and pretty damn fine to eat as well.) It will be very interesting to see what happens.
Time for the table. Usual guff – clicking on the thumbnail will open a larger photo.