Wednesday, 17 August 2011

Clever clucks!

Our darling chickens - bantams and the other hens - are proving to be both a joy and extremely invasive! On one hand, they provide us with endless entertainment and on the other they have a fascination with the inside of the house and will sneak in at any unguarded moment.  No matter how we have chased and shooed, they still give it a go and although we at first thought it was rather sweet, it has become quite an irritation.

Observing their behaviour has been really interesting as we had never thought about poultry having brains but birds do have brains, pea-brained as they may be! The roosters (cocks sounds downright rude in polite society!) are so very good to their women and humans could take note.  The male will find a tiny morsel and make a particular clucking noise which gets the females running to him.  He then puts it down for one to eat and immediately presumes she will be willing to pay in kind.  He prances around her doing a sideways dance with his feathers splayed out beautifully and then pounces.  To us humans it is most comical.

Currently we have a little black hen sitting on eggs in a large basket of potpourri in the dining room  As you can see from the photos, the menfolk find the right spot and try it out for size.  Then they encourage their ladies to test it and once one has shown her approval, she will begin to lay her eggs - usually one a day.  Once she has enough, she will start to sit continuously, getting off once a day to eat, do her ablutions and stretch her legs. Such good and devoted little mothers they are!

We have decided to allow this hen to stay inside to give the chickens a chance to hatch because if they are outside, their eggs are stolen by a grey mongoose who has dined royally these past few months and we have had two bantams and a large hen taken in the night by some predator - possibly a wild cat of some sort.  So they need to be closed in their 'hoks' at night to keep them safe.  In fact it is almost time to go and see to them now.  They will be given some stale bread which they absolutely love and follow me like I am the pied piper and before they know it, they are safely put to bed.


No comments:

Post a Comment