The Big Day

I’ve been so distracted by the antics of the ex-batts and our attempts to integrate them, I don’t think I’ve mentioned that one of the Moppets is showing signs of being seriously broody? At least, I assume it’s the same hen each time?! Every time we go out to check the nest boxes, one of the bantams is there, and flattens herself into a pancake as we open the box … she first appeared in this picture from a few days ago … but she’s still there!



It’s the bantam at the bottom of the picture … can you see how she’s flattened herself out compared to the other hen? If you try and lift her, she’ll growl and peck. Sometimes she’s on an egg (not necessarily hers) but often there’s no egg available and yet she still sits, hour after hour. I might be wary of a full sized hen in a rage, but the bantams just make me smile so I simply lift her out and put her in the run – usually she eats and drinks a little before returning to the nest box. I wonder how long she’ll keep it up?!

No further sign of injury to any of the ex-batts, so this afternoon I opened the gate between the Hen Run (currently the B Team’s quarters) and the Hen Garden (where the A Team have been staying for a couple of nights). Almost immediately, they returned whence they came … that is, the A Team invaded the Hen Run and the B Team made for the grass of the Hen Garden. There were a few spats, but I left them to it, and when I went out again a couple of hours later, all was quiet. Then, as I watched from the dining room window while I was preparing tea, they all slowly drifted into the Hen Run, content to be in the same space.

We’ve put plenty of food and treats in the Hen Run to distract them, though Molly is still occasionally throwing her weight around. Bertha is the only one of the B Team who isn’t intimidated by her, and I’ve seen them eating side by side without any apparent friction. While Millie is happy in the company of the remainder of the B Team. It looks as if Betsy is going to be bottom hen … not because she’s lost any face-offs, but because she won’t face up to anyone in the first place! :rolleyes:

So my plan is that a little later I shall take out some corn to the Hen Garden, call all the girls together and quietly shut the gate behind all seven as I leave …

The combined brood of the A Team and the B Team shall henceforth be known as ‘The Vicarage Girls’!

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  1. You’re doing an impressive job of getting your whole hen party together! Funny to hear about your broody moppet as the OH & I were talking earlier about what to do if one of ours gets broody, so we shall be watching your growly moppet with interest! Great pics, as always 🙂


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    Our original hen keeping adventure came to an end in January 2013, when a fox took our entire brood of hens. But don’t let that put you off … you can find the story at The Hen House Archive where there are still lots of stories, photos, and information about keeping hens I hope you'll find useful.

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