Hatty The Hen seems to have found herself a new nest site. Up until last week she has been laying her eggs regularly on the silage wrap mountain, but since last Wednesday I have not collected any eggs from this nest site.
At first I thought that the magpies had found this nest and were taking the eggs. Then I wondered if she was getting broody and had stopped laying because I had placed the nine guinea fowl eggs in the poultry hut, even though Hatty is yet to stay seated on the eggs! I also re-read the article I had written about why hens might not lay to see if this could shed some light on the matter, but none of the suggestions rang a bell. Then I remembered that one day last week one of the farmers had put a box where Hatty likes to lay her eggs, so this might have been but off laying there.
This morning I thought I would go in search of Hatty and her nest site, if indeed there is a new nest site! As I peered into the cattle barn I could see my father in law reversing the tractor with the silage feeder on it, but not only did it have the silage on the feeder but my mischievous leghorn hen as well. I didn’t know if Hatty had been seen and I was afraid that the silage feeder would start turning and Hatty would be fed to the cattle, but the wily old bird that she is, as calm and as cool as a cucumber she just dropped down off the back of the tractor and walked casually away from the scene, leaving me in a cold sweat with the thought of what might have happened to my beloved Hatty The Hen.
Anyway this still doesn’t shed any light on where she is laying her eggs. About an hour later I went back out to have another hunt for Hatty. I thought I would just take a quick look at the silage feeder as she seems to make a bee line for it when no one is looking. No sign of her on the top of the feeder and she hadn’t sat herself on the seat of the tractor. Instead she had wedged herself down the side of the silage feeder and was nestled into a lovely nest of silage.
When I went out after lunch to check if Hatty had laid, there was no egg. Either she didn’t lay and is just taking the micky or a magpie had the egg. I don’t know which is worse – magpies stealing eggs or a mischievous hen!