When we stopped getting eggs a few weeks ago, I thought the hens might be laying somewhere in the barn, but I couldn’t them anywhere.
A couple of days ago, I noticed that Brown Hen wasn’t hanging around with the other hens. She didn’t even come to the porch when I fed the cats in the afternoon. And the next morning she was out pecking at the cat food before I had opened the coop.
So I knew she had spent the day and night sitting on a clutch of eggs somewhere on the farm.
Later that afternoon, when I saw White Hen peering down the long space between the barn wall and the hay bale, even though I couldn’t make Brown Hen out in the darkness, I knew she was there.
Since we don’t have a rooster, I didn’t have to worry about the eggs being fertilized, but a broody hen will often not come off the nest for days. Which means she is eating and drinking very little or not at all.
When the hens lay in the coop, I collect the eggs so they don’t have them to try and hatch. But when they get the urge, because of hormones, instinct, or a change in light such as the days getting shorter as they are now, a hen might become broody. And like Brown Hen, lay eggs with the intention of hatching them, fertilized or not.
After Brown Hen left the eggs, I put them in a bucket and carried them out into the woods. I left them in a clearing alongside a deer trail. I’m hoping they’re still good enough for an animal to eat.
Fate is very aware of them. On our way back from our walk in the woods she ran over to them and sniffed each one as if counting them. We’ll check on them tomorrow and see if anyone found them a good meal.
Every morning I go out to the barnyard, check on the animals, fill up the water bucket, open or close a gate for grazing, and muck out the barn.
Six days a week I take my iPhone with me looking for a photo.(Saturday is my Sabbath from going online and taking pictures) Sometimes it happens and sometimes it doesn’t. But because I’ve come to know the sheep and donkeys so well and because they’re comfortable around me, I can usually tell if a good photo is about to happen.
That’s when I take out my iPhone and begin snapping pictures.
This morning it happened between Fanny and Merricat. I captured that moment of communication between them. I don’t know what they were saying to each other, but there was definitely something passing between them.
I knew when I saw the horse fabric that someone sent me that it would make good potholders.
It was just a matter of figuring out how to make them work since the pattern was so busy. That’s when I decided to keep them simple as if the horses were emerging from the large fields of fabric I placed next to them.
Some of the potholders in this photo are already sold. But there are still some available.
They are $20 each + $5 shipping for one or more. You can see them all and buy them here.
Lulu and Fanny are never far from each other. They’re sisters and have been together their whole life. They’re 17 years old and can live to be in their forties. Hopefully, we’ll grow old together.
Eager, crazy Fate. With spittle on her face and her tongue hanging down she still wants to run around the sheep. I don’t know if she’d ever stop if I didn’t make her.
Brown Hen would always rather have cat food than chicken food, even if it’s corn on the cob. I have to keep an eye on her, she’s always the first one to run to the back porch to try and get some of Minnie and Flo’s food.
I did chase Brown Hen away after I took the video and let Flo finish her food. She only ate a bit more, then Brown Hen came back and finished it off.
The apple trees are full this year. Especially the crab apple that hangs over the south pasture. When I let the sheep out to graze the first thing they do is run to the place where the apples fall and gobble them up.
Even our Hydrangea is affected by the apples that have been rotting in the soil since we planted it. The flowers have always been a greenish-white, this is the first year they’re turning pink.
I sat on the back porch, with a glass of wine, watching the moon, waiting for Jon to come home. He was picking up one of our Amish neighbors from the train station in Albany.
I pet Flo who sat on the table next to me.
Finally, Jon’s ring came from my iPhone. “I just dropped them off,” he said, “I’m on my way home.”
We sat on the back porch, Jon trying to get a picture of the moon through the big old birch who has already lost her leaves.
“Oh, that’s a good one,” I said when I saw what he had taken.
Flo watched too, she knows the moon.