Wednesday, 4 April 2012

Broody despite the weather

I was due to take neighbour and friend Carol over to Alfreton in Nottinghamshire today to collect her new Welsh Terrier puppy from the breeder we bought all of our terriers from. However when I got up, the weather had changed from being a benign spring back to a  rather chilly snowy winter , so reluctantly we thought it prudent to cancel the trip,
I am glad we have, crossing the Pennines in snow is not a bag of laughs
Animals HATE being very wet and very cold. They can do one or the other quite easily, but do not fair well if both are on the cards, so I placed extra feed inside the hen houses today as I know the birds will not be venturing too far from home.
One old buff is holed up on eggs in a broody box which is safely tucked away on the allotment. All of the broody boxes this year have been set up inside donated dog crates, making them impregnable against the marauding badgers which still troll through the field at night.
In the duck house another old runner has made a nest for herself. and in the goose house both Winnie and Jo have laid their huge white oval eggs together in the name nest. This accounts for their behaviour with Camilla, I suspect as the juvenile female is "too close for comfort" to be allowed into the same nesting area.
Out grazing the Canada goose seems to have rejoined her companions safely. only at night does she separate off to join the slightly bemused "crackheads " in their house




Brooding birds never cease to amaze me. They possess a strange ability to completely "Zen out" to everything around them and will possess that strange faraway look which is usually employed by habitual drinkers when you try to engage them in conversation.
Poke a broody hen and they will fluff themselves up and will growl like a dog, but they won't leave their eggs for anything.
This is motherhood in the raw. Instinct and innate behaviour.
No thinking whatsoever.


The cottage looked very dark and rather forlorn when I gazed back at it from the icy field.
Time to light the fire and switch on the lights.
Winter has returned for the day

34 comments:

  1. Seems odd, John, that you have to go to Nottinghamshire to buy a WELSH Terrier! Surely there must be a good breeder nearer at hand!

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  2. Bloody right it's returned. The icy wind/blizzard this morning cut right through my fingers!

    My chooks have ventured out - anything for thier a.m. corn treat.

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  3. And the opposite has happened here when it should be getting cooler and darker as Autumn progresses towards winter - we've had 26C sunny days with very warm air movement. 6.30 pm and dark upon us and Rhonda and I are about to sit out in the garden with a cuppa!

    Amazing!

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  4. The sun is just breaking through here this morning John - to four inches of snow and a bitter wind. Still, set to go today.

    The farmer refuses to allow broodiness - we have a little hut and a pen called the sin bin - anything daring to go broody goes into there until the feeling has gone off. If you have chicks, what do you do with the cockerels?

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  5. We got a spot of winter here a few days ago and the frost damaged some buds on bushes, but now we are returning to May temperatures.

    Your stories of your animals are written so sweetly John. it just makes me feel good reading your posts.

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  6. If your life was to be turned into a daytime TV soap opera, I wonder what the theme music would be like? I - guess there'd be a brass band involved. And the credits would say...
    John Gray - Alan Bates
    Chris - Matt Cardle
    Mabel - Mabel
    Directed by Cro Magnon
    Best Boy - Benny

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  7. YP
    You do make me larf!
    Pat
    The buffs often cannot be sin binned, they INSIST on sitting
    The cockerel s are still in the freezer x

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  8. Cro
    Not many welsh terriers around at the mo apparantly

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  9. "...possess that strange faraway look which is usually employed by habitual drinkers when you try to engage them in conversation."

    I am sorry, John, what was that you were saying?

    We are in the rainy season now so every night and sometimes during the day it hammers down. Got caught in it last night doing the fuel run and couldn't see a yard in front of the truck.

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  10. lol
    no offence intended x

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  11. I am always amazed at how broody hens survive - unless I turfed mine off regularly they didn't bother and eating and drinking - I wonder where they go to in their heads?

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  12. Oh, you have described setting birds perfectly!

    And my "I want a puppy" light starting flashing. If I had to picked a favorite group, terriers would be it.

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  13. Heavy morning frosts, cold nights however the days have been warmer with lots of sunshine, with the exception of grey skies and almost rain yesterday here in Ontario. Patiently awaiting for the "Checkerboard Aussie" babies arrival in a couple more weeks.

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  14. Alfreton is in Derbyshire old chap. I used to live there...

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  15. ok smart arse bel
    the post code of the village is nottinghamshire

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  16. Am hoping it's winter just for the day too...

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  17. interesting analogy with drinkers... I used to be very protective of my booze too... be interesting to look at the brain activity of both to determine if there is a link at all...

    How do I apply for a grant on that one?

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  18. Oh joy, now I have the image in my head of a hairy old red-faced sot sitting on a giant nest, bottle clutched tightly in hand as hums abstractedly to himself.

    Poor chicks, what won't they think when they emerge and see their mommy?

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  19. Hoping your weather turns around quickly (Also hoping we don't get bad weather - we have already set the tomatoes out!

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  20. That "look" your broodies get...sounds just like the way hubby looks when I start talking...sort of far away and in another world. Don't think he's laid any eggs though.

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  21. YEs,I too wonder haw they survive the broody time since they do not hardly eat or drink. I tell you though,some of mine if you mess with them and they fluff up and growl will peck the snot out of you too ! I had a duck one that would try an fly up and smack us in the face with her feet!She actually got me once when I was bending over to close the door to the coop...something a little embarrassing about being foot slapped in the face by a duck.

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  22. I do hope the weather clears soon and turns more springlike for you. We had snowshowers on Monday. Melted on impact with the ground, but still, come April, i'm done with snow and want to get a move on with spring.

    I've been missing having a dog lately. Every time i see one being walked or riding in a car, i take a long, long look.

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  23. Your blog is always so much fun to read, not just for your stories, but for all the great comments everyone makes, too. I'm always guaranteed to either find something to laugh about ... or cry about ... when I come here. And funny, but I kinda relate to those brooding hens. I have a way of being oblivious to the world around me at times, too. No booze involved, either.

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  24. You made the right decision. I live 8 miles from Alfreton and woke up to 4" of snow this morning. Nightmare.

    I love your animal stories and learn so much from them.

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  25. Yup, I like your stories as well. Lets me think back at how it was on the farm when I was young. I really enjoyed my time on the farm.

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  26. your feathered "gals" are quite something John! I have a blog friend in England who said her weather was doing the same as yours...sadly, here in Florida, we are marching steadfastly toward our HOT, MUGGY summer! And hurricane season! oh yay, the excitement!

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  27. Our 30C weather of 2 weeks ago has flew off like a fart in the wind..now cool to cold...fingers crossed for a snowless w/e. Hope your weather comes around soon!

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  28. Minneapolis continues to warm up nicely, so sorry to hear about winter's return, no matter how briefly.

    Love the brooding hens. I know nothing about this sort of thing, but I feel I've just learned something...

    Pearl

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  29. Pearl!
    nice to hear from you
    Ron
    a fart in the wind... I like that!
    Nicl
    nice to hear from you too!

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  30. Oh the old classic "bird stink-eye".
    Ive seen it time and time again!

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  31. Sweet little broody duck!!

    Btw, my Mama duck is doing quite well with her leg. Splint is off and it's still a bit swollen, but she is walking on it with a little limp.

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  32. nat
    well done !!!!!!!!!!!!

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  33. John
    My daughters boyfriend lives in Alfreton - well someone has to!!!
    Jane

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  34. John
    My daughters boyfriend lives in Alfreton - well someone has to!!!
    Jane

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