chickens / veggie garden

Of sunny faces and fluffy bums…

… a quick update.

It is late March which in Oz means we are almost a whole month into Autumn (Fall) but you would not know it. I awoke this morning to another warm day: it is 26ºC now (9am) heading for 31ºC. It is far too warm and to be honest, I am over it.

It probably accounts for one of my observations, though—two of our six chickens are thoroughly ensconced in ‘broody’ mode. It started with Juliet about two to three weeks ago and now Maria has joined in. Well at least I think it is broody behaviour, but I am no chicken expert. Essentially they both stay in the coup all day—all fluffed up like feathery balloons, softly cooing and sitting atop the clutch of dummy eggs we made when this whole palaver started.

Their behaviour is quite strange. They insist on sitting in the primary nesting box (can someone explain to me why ALL the chickens want to lay in just one nest?) atop the eggs, without break. During the day Chris and I go down and take turns to lift them gently off the nest and onto the ground. Juliet in particular seems to be in some sort of zombie-like trance. Typically she doesn’t like being touched, but you can lift her, hold her and stroke her when she is like this. When placed on the ground, she stays squatted and still for a good few minutes, all fluffed up and then she suddenly snaps out of it and rushes to the back of the yard to attack the water and food supplies—and anyone or anything that gets in her way. It is very comical!

I have read a few things on the net about broody chickens, and we are happy for them just to get over it—the assumption is that when the weather starts to cool, then they will return to normal.

And of sunny faces? I can proudly announce that we have a lovely stand of sunflowers in the soil garden—some of them starting to flower and track the path of the sun with their noddy heads.

I have never grown sunflowers before and I now wonder why. Not only will they be a great treat for the girls when they mature, but just looking at their bright yellow faces makes me smile.

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