Tuesday, 14 April 2015
The wanderer returns
For a week, one of our two barnvelder hens has been missing. We hatched both last year. Barnvelders are a rare breed and this was part of our contribution to ensuring the survival of domesticated animals that would otherwise disappear if enthusiasts didn't do their bit to protect them.
There was no sign of a struggle with a fox, no evidence of other predators. She had simply disappeared. That was until yesterday morning. I was on the allotment at 7am. Suddenly, there she was. She was hungry but in good health. She disappeared again after I left the allotment. It all points to a possible clutch of chicks on the way. My guess is that she has laid some eggs in a hidden spot nearby and she is now brooding the eggs. Typically, a brooding hen will not leave her eggs for days on end. When she does its only for a few minutes to eat as much as she can. She then returns to the eggs. If my hunch is right, she will return in two weeks, complete with a family of chicks.
That's here in the photo above. You can just make out the other one behind the feeder.