Monday, 29 March 2010
One of the Indian Game pullets had taken to laying each day in the stable. Every morning as soon as they were let out of their house the cockerel would escort the hen to the stable, used during the winter as shelter and a place to feed hay to the sheep. He would spend a little while creating a hollow in the straw in the corner, the hen would then sit to lay while the cockerel stood guard protecting her from the hooves of the sheep.
Since Friday the stable door has been closed because the ewes have been lambing. This resulted in one poor hen wandering around the yard, clucking in a state of confusion and desperation, looking for somewhere else to lay. We guessed she had found somewhere as there were no 'extra' eggs in the nest box in the house but no matter how hard we looked we could not find her nesting site, until Saturday that is.
Whenever we go to the yard we take the dog, each time he flies out of the boot straight into the feed shed hoping to be lucky enough to catch a rodent by surprise, failing that maybe some spilt corn or ewe nuts. On Saturday I don't know who got the biggest surprise, the dog being greeted with an angry squawk and ruffle of feathers or the hen who was quietly biding her time in amongst the straw bales, only to have a wet nose poked in her face.
Luckily, although not always obedient, the dog knows a sharp NO means no, especially when livestock are involved. He stood still while the hen casually got up from the nest shook her tail feathers and wander off to join the rest of the flock.