As I already told you, Waldemar the cockerel died a tragic death a few weeks ago. Sad times that got sadder by the fact that Pippi, our very adventurous hen disappeared a few days later. I had a mini meltdown and the hens and little Monty were put in the outdoor cage. They did not protest at all, so I thought they might feel safer in there for the moment.
A few days later they informed me loudly that enough was enough, and off they went, like birds should do. All was well until five days ago, when Lina the most gentle and kind hen we ever saw, went missing. I flew out to Jersey the next day but had high hopes that Lina would turn up before I left. No such luck, unfortunately and sadness hit us again. Lina has all her life been one for outings on her own, so when she didn't return, I thought a fox had got her too.
We have forest all around the fields and the house so foxes, pine martins, eagle, and hawks - to name but a few predators - visit out place. Waldemar dead and two hens missing, meant someone had found a snack bar, we thought.
So imagine my happy surprise when John called me in Jersey a couple of days later to tell me Lina had flown in to the henhouse just in time for breakfast. I woke up quickly that morning and told total strangers about her return. Such a happy morning... When a slightly bewildered husband called me in the afternoon to tell me a skinny Pippi had turned up, my day was complete. How a little hen has survived for two weeks in the forest is anyone's guess, but a wonderful conundrum. Mindy, our white sheep that loves our hens more than food must now be the happiest sheep around. I could not wait to get home and see them, myself. But, in the meantime I was at the Jersey Durrell wildlife park meeting a lot of endangered spices and learning a lot. And they did not have hens there, so there is hope for our lot, too... Here's hoping and knock wood.
Pst.... I hope we all know that we should stop using products that contain Palm oil as the orangutans are running out of places to live in. Their homes are being destroyed for Palm oil plantations. This just as a reminder, that we can help a little if we try, thank you.
|Credit: Dasha Dimitrova|
Pippi the hen left for the woods the following day. Two days later she returned with a stressed look on her little face. I was already at home so I got to see her return with the tiniest chick I had ever seen. This little, fluffy, black bundle with huge feet. So now we know... The little one is called Elisabeth and is very regal. If she turns out to be a little cockerel, then he will be little Eric.
All the other hens now also like to have babies, they inform us loudly so Monty has taken to hang out in the woods with Dimi and Darya. I, on the other hand, am busy feeding little Betty with cottage cheese and bilberries while Pippi is watching me closely. "You never know!" Seems to be her motto in life, now that she became a mother.
Text by Nina