12 July, 2009

The battle for supremacy was won

You've seen it on film many times before. Alan Ladd against Jack Palance in Shane. Errol Flynn and Basil Rathbone fighting it out on the stairs in Robin Hood. David against Goliath. Well okay the chicken wasn't actually that big. And I was aiming to capture her alive.

Sam the errant chicken has been broody in a hedge somewhere and has taken to sleeping al fresco. Having a chicken lay her eggs where I can't find them, and leave herself vulnerable to foxes overnight, while expecting me to feed her is a bit much. So clearly something had to be done.

My tactic today was to make sure all the other chickens were stuck in the run. Suzanne (my chicken expert) suggested that Sam the lone Maran might be tempted back to the hen house by the others. So I wandered around the field and than practically stepped on her. Top marks for observation there, Sherlock. Yesterday the field had been "topped off" and Sam's nest was exposed. In fact it was almost mown. There she was right on the edge of a thistle bed sitting on around 8 eggs. She left sharpish and I collected the eggs which all failed the float test and have therefore been disposed of.

Not much later I managed to get her to come to the house for some food and then when she wasn't looking, grabbed her and shoved her in the back entrance of the house. This was harder than it sounds, involved much lurking and really I could have done with a net. But eventually I won. So now we have seven chickens in the run. Seven cross chickens. And I will admit to feeling a little guilty about six of them as they have been behaving themselves. But if Sam is going to learn to go to bed in safety and lay her eggs where I can get them then they've all got to suffer for a bit.

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