CHRISTMAS OFFER Subscribe to Your Chickens today CLICK HERE

Bra-vo, it’s a chick!

PUBLISHED: 12:28 15 October 2015 | UPDATED: 12:28 15 October 2015

Annette with Titania and another duckling

Annette with Titania and another duckling

Archant

Janine has a friend with a novel way of hatching a chick…

DucklingDuckling

The other day I went to visit my British expat friend Annette. She keeps chickens – and not just a few. She tells me she started with five chicks from the local supermarket and rapidly got hooked, buying a couple more each time she went shopping. At certain times of the year in rural northern France where I live, garden centres and, yes, supermarkets, stock chicks the same way that supermarkets in the UK stock seasonal plants. Annette now has more than 250 chickens. Fortunately she has a large enough garden to accommodate them all comfortably!

Annette’s chickens live side by side with ducks, geese, guinea fowl, quail, a large turkey and two goats. Something seems to happen to some expats when they come to France; their animal love tendencies run amok. I guess that is how, never ever having nor wanting an animal my entire life before moving to France, I am now the human of six stray cats, three stray dogs, four geese, 22 ducks and 16 chickens.

My Dr Doolittle qualities, though, pale into insignificance compared to Annette’s.

I arrived at her house and waded through the cacophony of chooks that ran to greet me in the courtyard (they know me because I feed them when Annette is away) and knocked at the front door. Waiting an age, I was about to leave thinking she must be out when the door opened very slowly and Annette beckoned me in. She walked along her passage with careful, deliberate steps and into the kitchen. All of her movements were hugely exaggerated and slow, as if she was in a bubble filled with treacle. She sat down gingerly.

“Have you hurt yourself?” I asked

“No,” she laughed “I’ve got an egg in my bra…”

It’s hard to know what to say to that. However it turns out that Annette, on her morning egg gathering and chicken checking rounds, discovered that one of the chickens that had been sitting on both chicken and duck eggs had given up. Annette checked the nest; all of the eggs were cold except one which felt hot to touch. When she picked it up and held it close to her ear, she could hear a ‘cheep cheep’ from inside. In a quandary, she says her first thoughts were to pop it in her bra to keep it warm.

The next day she phoned me to let me know the egg had had hatched early that morning. She was sitting at the kitchen table with a mug of tea, when she felt a crack in her bra. The egg started to move about and, in front of her bemused husband, she whipped the egg out and popped in onto the table. The pair watched, mesmerised, as a beak emerged through the shell, rapidly followed by a fluffy yellow duckling.

Annette is now the proud mother of Titania, named after the Queen of the Fairies in Midsummer’s Night Dream of course…

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

More from News

Friday, August 10, 2018

The much loved home-breds Sarkozy and Carla are no one following a visit from vicious Mr Fox

Read more
Monday, July 16, 2018

Recipe for success: Kim Stoddart looks at some of the best feed choices for laying hens

Read more
August 2018
Monday, July 16, 2018

Susie Kearley investigates how chickens can help in the therapeutic process

Read more
August 2018
Monday, July 16, 2018

Is it normal for chickens to pant during hot weather?

Read more
August 2018
Friday, June 8, 2018

Charlotte’s hens were born under a wandering star

Read more
July 2018
Friday, June 8, 2018

Anne Perdeaux gives ideas on what to do with your egg-cess produce

Read more
July 2018
Wednesday, May 9, 2018

There are many garden gremlins but chickens are the worst!

Read more
June 2018
Wednesday, May 9, 2018

Ex-pat Janine Marsh’s nomad chickens go walkabout

Read more
June 2018
Wednesday, May 9, 2018

Kim Stoddart takes a look at the more naturally-minded products available to buy for poultry

Read more
June 2018
Monday, April 16, 2018

Hamish Mackie’s sculpture work is internationally renowned. Jeremy Hobson finds out more

Read more
May 2018

Most Read

Don't Miss...


Chickens Stateside

Fresh Eggs Daily

Follow us on Twitter


Like us on Facebook