Thursday, 25 March 2010

The Hen Egg Dog Game

The Equinox passes and it is noticeably equal day, equal night now.  Feels like a big hurdle jumped.   Whatever the weather throws in our direction from now on, the increasing daylight hours are really exciting.  Signs of spring. Sheltered grass begins to shoot through the dead yellow winter hue.  Catkins drop from bare hazels and migrants begin to appear - birds and humans.   The roads on the island are busier, no longer can you 'know' you won't meet anyone between here and Calgary Beach.

How blue the waters of Calgary Bay can be, seen through the trees beyond the hen houses, even when it is still quite cold!   The free range hens are enjoying the longer days and beginning to lay a good supply of eggs, the surplus of which we hope to share with our guests.  However one or two are sneaking off and laying their eggs in the garden, hoping we won't notice.  Last year we had so many broody hens, we had more chicks than we could count.  

This year I am determined to outwit them and collect the day by day egg before it becomes part of a wily hen's carefully nurtured brood.   But there is another spanner in the scenario as Tig, the younger Beardie, shows great promise as 'Champion Egg Finder' - she has learned that she can squeeze through the flap on the hen house to collect her own eggs and on occasion has been seen trying to, invisibly, move across the grass with a fresh egg in her mouth, off to bury it out of sight for a rainy day.  

Farmer has been busy. The heavily pregnant ewes were slowly gathered by Farmer, Crofter and Contractor on Monday afternoon once the storm had died down, and they were put through the fank by Farmer and Crofter on Tuesday in sunshine and cold wind.  Important to treat them when the weather is good and they are dry, that way they avoid getting dirty going through the fank.  A good job done.   So they are back on the hill now, and before we know it the lambing will have started when Farmer will be out on the hill every day.
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