Sadness because a few months ago our girl Spazz passed away. Something not quite right had been going on for quite a while, sadly something that not even a drive across town to the bird vet and a bill to match could solve. We watched her slowly losing her rough and tumble snatch and grab approach to life. I knew thing were drawing to an end when our other chook Boss also figured out something was wrong and pecked and kicked her away. She died peacefully on a beautiful spring day and I buried her in the spot where she had dug and scratched the native violets out of existence.
The question came next as to what to do with Boss. Chooks are flock birds and don't live happily alone. At that time of year its practically impossible to find large 'point of lay pullets' as the year's crop has just finished hatching. But Boss had one thing on her mind apart from laying eggs and that was sitting on them.
It 6 of her own eggs to get her to bed down overnight on her clutch and we were ready and waiting. A quick trip out to her home farm at Bannockburn to collect a precious cargo of 8 fertilised eggs.
Boss sat tight for days on end and we changed her name to 'Miss Clucky Mama'. She only ventured off for 10 minutes to eat, drink, drop a big steaming pile of chicken manure, engage in power dust bath before bolting back to the nest.
21 days later and the wait was over..... five perfect little hatchlings poked out one at time from a protective 'mum' (we found earlier that 3 of the eggs were most likely unfertilised and were not developing).
|"Hello baby"- still a bit dazed and confused following the arrival of chick number 1|
|Locked up with the brood.|
At first everyone was confined to an enclosed nest box area but within a week poor boss suffered 'cabin fever' with five little ones under her feet and took them all downstairs. They haven't looked back since!
|First venture into the veggie patch|
|At home in the garden|
With one confirmed baby rooster (hes got attitude already) and another one or two possibles, I am doing my best to visualise tasty roast chicken and how when to dispatch..... (will keep two pullets as friends for boss)
|Junior rooster (centre) One month old today! he's already lived longer and happier than an average KFC bucket!|