<div style="display:inline;"> <img height="1" width="1" style="border-style:none;" alt="" src="//googleads.g.doubleclick.net/pagead/viewthroughconversion/1028731116/?value=0&amp;guid=ON&amp;script=0">
CHRISTMAS OFFER Subscribe to Your Chickens today click here

Jo Barlow: a special place for an ex-bat hen

PUBLISHED: 16:33 13 October 2017

Milly - vulnerable

Milly - vulnerable

Archant

Milly the ex-bat has created her own little sanctuary

You would think, would you not, that a beautiful, bespoke, recycled plastic coop, with knicker-deep bedding, would be enough for some girls. Crowdfunded and paid for by the love and kindness of many wonderful souls who support the girls of Effie’s Garden, our coop is truly a thing of wonder. But for Milly … it just doesn’t cut the mustard when it is time to lay her egg.

Milly, if you remember, is the little hen who found her voice some time after rescue and now sings me daily egg songs celebrating The Great Event. However, over 18 months free, she is still bottom hen of our little mixed flock and, as anyone with banties will tell you, they are forever broody during the summer. As we have four – two rescued frizzles and two of the original three chicks who looked after Effie in her dotage – the coop always seems to be full. Consequently, poor Milly always seems to be chased out.

So where can a girl go to enjoy her special moment in peace? Why, a special place of course!

I first became aware of a possible alternative laying place when the number of daily egg songs didn’t equal the number of daily eggs. As there is only one egg a day being laid, this didn’t involve anything too complicated on the maths front!

Outwit

After unsuccessfully searching for the spot, and keen to prove a human can occasionally outwit a hen, I cunningly watched Milly early the next morning to see where she was heading. It turns out her Special Place is tucked up under a droopy shrub by the side of the little wildlife pond. After she emerged, triumphant again, I investigated further and found the missing eggs, all nestled down in a well-trampled spot; a very heartwarming and tender sight.

So now, after checking the nestboxes each day, I also go to the Special Place, where, without fail, there will be a perfect Milly egg waiting for me.

Eggs aside, my investigations were actually fortuitous as, one evening, the head count revealed one less girl than normal … cue a panicked search for the errant Milly. As I called her, I could hear her reply to me and her gentle bwarks led me to the Special Place, the shrub wobbling incriminatingly. There she was, very pleased with herself, all tucked up, fancying a night under the stars. I think not Milly! After a sneaky cuddle and a stern talking to on the dangers of Mr Fox, she was tucked up with her sisters and safely locked away for the night.

The nature of those humans who rescue ex-bats often seems to reveal a fondness for the vulnerable, a wish to nurture and protect the most fragile. And, of all my girls, as bottom hen, Milly is that most vulnerable and fragile girl. Consequently, she is my special girl, so it seems only fitting that she has her own Special Place.

0 comments

Welcome , please leave your message below.

Optional - JPG files only
Optional - MP3 files only
Optional - 3GP, AVI, MOV, MPG or WMV files
Comments

Please log in to leave a comment and share your views with other Your Chickens visitors.

We enable people to post comments with the aim of encouraging open debate.

Only people who register and sign up to our terms and conditions can post comments. These terms and conditions explain our house rules and legal guidelines.

Comments are not edited by Your Chickens staff prior to publication but may be automatically filtered.

If you have a complaint about a comment please contact us by clicking on the Report This Comment button next to the comment.

Not a member yet?

Register to create your own unique Your Chickens account for free.

Signing up is free, quick and easy and offers you the chance to add comments, personalise the site with local information picked just for you, and more.

Sign up now

Your Chickens Application Link

Newsletter Sign Up

Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter

Most Read

Don't Miss...


Chickens Stateside

Fresh Eggs Daily

Follow us on Twitter


Like us on Facebook