Eggs - Total to date: 298 - Day 132
KoKKo 99 (86grms) 29.11.2005 Personal best weight
Adelaide 99 (80grms) 26.02.2006 Personal best weight
Ginger 100 (78grms) 22.2.2006 Personal best weight
*****100th egg for Ginger*****
My visitors to this site from overseas, will probably think that I am the epitome of an eccentric Englishwoman - and at 5.15am on a bitterly cold March morning, dressed in my PJ's, long fluffy pink dressing gown, pink fleece, and long beige mackintosh that reaches almost to the floor, outside filling up breakfast containers for my little flock of chickens - I might have been inclined to agree with you!
But it was an act of love. I have been awake since 2.16am - (I have a digital clock beside my bed so I know the time to the second! ) I've been lying awake wondering how they all got on overnight, and what scene might await me this morning. Bald bums, bare necks or just a blood bath of feathers and flesh. It is that time of night and in the following wee small hours of the morning that one's imagination runs riot! -Together with a penchant for murder and mystery books as stimulating bed time reading!
So there I was up and out with torch and a churning stomach to make the necessary preparations and to face the scene.
I filled up all four 'peanut' feeders (so named for their shape rather than their purpose), with layers mash, organic pellets, poultry spice, garlic powder and Diatom. Just a smidgeon of each of the last three.
I then filled up three water containers with warm water and a dash of citricidal, and made the trips to and fro to the pen.
You can picture the scene I am sure - tiptoeing quietly, torch tucked under the crook of my arm, and feeders in each hand, unlocking the pen, and then the run. Trying not to make a noise to wake the hopefully, still sleeping, flock.
I hooked a feeder on either side of the run inside, one on the outside, and another on the chicken wire perimeter fencing. Then I placed the stainless steel bowl with the warm water outside the run and two smaller containers of water near the other outside feeding stations.
I then waited until just before dawn, and opened their door, and quietly made a quick exit stage left - literally - to observe from a distance as Adelaide, Ginger and KoKKo would be bound to come running to me for their early morning chat and stroke, and if the banties did so too, it might cause some jealousy.
First out, quietly and dignified was Adelaide, followed by KoKKo then Ginger. Just walking sedately to see what the day had brought. They inspected the run. It was not what I expected.
What I did expect was an enormous explosion of birds and feathers and noise, followed by a lot of screeching and flapping of wings, and hysterical chasing about!
All was quiet, and no banties. The wait was nerve-wracking, my stomach was churning and I felt slightly nauseous. I had been entrusted to care for the beautiful bantam babes, oh my goodness what if..........
Then about 30 seconds later, Freckles appeared and just walked out and about amongst the first three as though she had been doing it every day. About 10 seconds later, out came Pumpkin, shuffling away with splayed legs as she always does, kicking up the hemp as she walked like a child kicking up the autumn leaves. And last out of bed was Dilly - again, showing no signs of apprehension or fear. Perhaps they were all half asleep.
The big girls walked out into the run and did the morning patrol.
"Attention, come along girls look lively, something's been going on out here and I want to know what it is! Off to do the perimeter inspection then, by the double."
And so Adelaide set off down the bottom end and had a close look at something I had been working on - more of that in the next post. Ginger went the other way, and KoKKO inspected the dust bath. It was rather unusual as they didn't rush to feed or drink, which I thought they would.
Meanwhile the London Ladies took a more leisurely stroll - obviously used to late nights and late risings, had a peck first at feeder inside and then at the other, and casually came out and took a long drink from the water dish. Went back in for another spot of breakfast, and back out for a drink.
Pumpkin decided to push her luck and walked up to one of the outside feeders where Adelaide was, and got told off, but no pecking just a short shriek and a flapping of wings to send her shuffling back to the others. She didn't even rush, and swaggered off with a nonchelant, 'Not bovvered' air - so the language couldn't have been that bad!
By this time, my feet were like blocks of ice - so I have left my little flock as the dawn chorus was starting up.
The Carrot Crunchers at one end of the pen doing their morning exercises, and three rather confident and fashionable London Ladies swanning about at the other end, inspecting the new playground.
Check back later when I will have checked for eggs and seen them all in daylight!
All was quiet when I went out there just now, but there has been a little bit of a kafuffle as a few of Dilly's feathers were in front of one of the feeders so I went in to check them out. Dilly was in the run, and looked alright, Freckles was in the nest box, and Pumpkin was in one of the shelters.
Then all three came out when I went in there, and then ran for it down the other end of the pen - but the Carrot Crunchers were not chasing them, just eating - so something has gone on.
I think that I will totally stay away from even going near the pen to have a look until after lunch when I take in their greens.
Best to leave them too it. No signs of anything serious happening. When I left the London Ladies were still up the other end and moaning, but were not being harassed.