Monday, 12 October 2009

Ronnie has gone Broody!

No, not Ronnie in Eastenders although those that follow the soap will wonder at how life echoes Eastenders!
Ronnie, of Ronnie, Roxy and Peggy fame, my three little red hens, has overnight turned into a snarling demon as she sits on eggs that get laid and repels all boarders who try to claim said eggs. She has gone broody. It is amazing how a docile gentle hen can turn so quickly into a demented, troubled soul ( just like Eastenders characters actually).
Going Broody is when a hen has had enough of just laying eggs that constantly get taken away and wants to sit on them and hatch out baby chicks. Alas as we have no cockerel this is never going to happen but poor Ronnie does not know that ( again a bit like Ronnie Mitchell not knowing her sperm donor boyfriend Joel had had the snip). Now we have a problem with poor old Ron, we could just let her sit until she comes out of it but that could take weeks. The other option is to get her back to normal by giving her a boot up the backside figuratively speaking. She can be dunked bum first into a bucket of cold water, made to sit on ice packs or put into a cat cage with no comfy straw and left in a draughty place for a few days. However I am going to leave her for a few days more and see if she comes out of it naturally. This could go on for weeks and weeks and meanwhile she will get very little food and become thinner and thinner, not what I want for her with the cold weather coming on.
Meanwhile I have excellent news about Fondoo who is now flying with the rest of the flock and apart from looking a bit lopsided with a droopy wing is holding his own and doing fine.
I have had to remove ten eggs over the past few weeks from the nests as despite my best efforts they are all still bonking like mad. Hopefully once it gets really cold all this canoodling will stop. A flock of 19 is more than enough for anyone. They are ranging far and wide now and love the field of corn stubble on either side of the track, they are a little too obvious for my liking as the bloody peregrine is a common visitor as is the sparrowhawk and also the buzzard. The buzzard has been scooping up the voles who feed on the dove food and last week I caught a sparrowhawk picking up a vole right in front of the lounge window.
I have got the feeding down to a fine art now and have bought a long covered feed hopper that contains enough feed for about 6 days so no more rushing around first thing in the morning to feed them.
Everything else in the garden is rosy!