No, I'm not talking about me. You have to be in possession of mothering hormones to experience that, I believe, and I am down to my last few dribbles. In fact, I believe I may have run out completely and all I can say to that is 'Hurrah!' and 'Thank goodness!' and 'I have my life back after decades of being ruled by that 'woman' thing, which, let's be honest, is a particularly bad design fault on the part of Mother Nature or God, or with whomever else your loyalties lie.'
I am, in fact, referring to Primrose the Elder. I refer to her as such because a) she is the older of the two hen gals and b) she has, over the last couple of months, adopted what could loosely be described as the menopausal habit (or should that be 'henopausal?' Haha!!) of kicking eggs out of the nest box.
Now, the first time I found an al fresco egg I thought nothing of it. I mean, it's happened before on occasion especially with our older hens when they've been rambling around and one has just 'popped out' either through being taken by surprise and not having time to get to the nest box or by general, how shall I say...'slackness' in the egg delivery compartment. Well, us ladies of a certain age can all sympathise with THAT feeling, can't we?
Oh...you mean we can't? Um...okay...😳 Right...er...scratch that last remark...
Anyway, I thought little of it. The egg was fine, it was laying just outside the entrance to the pod and I reckoned Camilla (for 'twas her egg, and yes, I can tell the difference) just hadn't made it back to base in time.
And then it happened again. And again. And again...
I set up 'Hen Watch.' Well, I stood at the kitchen window one morning with a cup of tea and stared up the garden. I noticed Camilla stroll up to the pod to lay her egg. I noticed Primrose the Elder exhibiting signs of narkiness that Camilla was in the nest box. Lots of pacing back and forth and general antsiness. I saw Camilla emerge forth sans oeuf. I saw Primrose go into the pod. And come out. And go in. And come out. And go in. And...
...kick the freshly laid egg out onto the ground. Primrose the Evictor!
Well, that deserved a visit to Mr Google, didn't it? Apparently, this egg eviction can happen for two reasons - one, that an older hen (Primrose) is intolerant of a new hen (Camilla) taken over HER nest to lay eggs in and two, that the older hen (Primrose) is broody.
Primrose is the right age to be broody. Her laying has been sporadic. All the while she was evicting eggs she wasn't laying. When she did lay, both eggs stayed in the nest. I don't know. Maybe when she laid an egg she was happy to leave Camilla's egg be - building up a broody clutch, so to speak? Maybe she didn't want to risk kicking the wrong egg from the nest? Who knows? One thing I have learned in seven years of hen keeping is 'NEVER try to get inside the mind of a chicken.' There's not enough room for a start.
Anyway, the egg eviction appears to have ceased in line with Primrose the Elder settling into a more regular laying pattern. Camilla has remained unperturbed by this chain of events and has laid well since just before Christmas. Peace reigneth once more in the House of Hen.
Oh, and do you remember I sowed some flower seeds on Saturday? Well, the cornflowers and marigolds have come up already!! Four days from sow to grow!!! There shall be blue and gold in the Much Malarkey Manor garden this year.
Blue and gold.