Hello from a sunny but chilly Derbyshire.
A warm welcome to Annie, UnDomesticDiva (great name) and LilaCottageGoats and Bonjour to Frugal in France who have clicked the Follower button and Edith and Jean Schofield on Blog lovin. Lovely to see you here.
Anyone who has kept hens knows the sound of a broody leaving the nest for "the daily poo". She squawks and runs around like a maniac, deposits the most enormous smelly poo, she might have a dust bath or drink and returns as soon as possible to her clutch.
Last week we heard this sound in the front garden, identified the hen and watched her return to a clutch of eggs against the wall of the house next to the gas meter. This wall is about twelve feet from the main road and it is possible that everyone in the village but us knew she was there ! We had no idea how long she had been there, but the eggs looked pretty shiny (not freshly laid) We have had very little rain, but the nights have been cold, but she seemed pretty comfy. I placed a board against the wall to provide some sort of cover and ensured that I left food and water next to her.
On Friday the Gas man called to read the meter. "It's outside" I said "I'll come with you". "No need" he said "I'll manage". I insisted and ensured that he was quiet and careful, as I realigned the wood so that he could open the box. he said that he had never encountered such a thing before and went away chuckling.
This morning I took some water and food to her and knew straight away that she was not talking to me, but to chicks with the special hen-to-chick speak. I immediately changed her water bowl for a shallow bowl ( I think I have lost more chicks to drowning in water bowls than any other cause) and found some chick crumbs to add to the hen food. As hens sit for 21 days she must have been there for two weeks before we spotted her!
So the first job for us today is to get a small ark ready for her and the chicks, so that they can be kept safe. Our cat Dixie doesn't touch chicks, but she isn't the only cat in the village!
All for now. Photos later