We have a very high bird nesting density here, helped by our range of habitats, hard to find in the surrounding fields, plus the food supplements we provide. In spite of there being so many birds they mainly go about their nesting in an unobtrusive way.
We have quite a lot of nest boxes on site. One has often be used by visiting Flycatchers. The problem is that they arrive quite late and in the meantime Tits and Sparrows try to take it over. They have plenty of other places to go so we have to intervene
We can’t move without tripping over wrens is they skit from woodpile to compost heap. Each male builds several nests and takes a potential suitor on a tour to see which they like best. That doesn’t stop him starting a bigamous relationship in one of the others. You would think with all that work they would take advantage of ready built properties. Oh no
this one is expending vast amounts of energy building a nest next to a vacant residence, which was used by a wren last year.
At 9.37 this morning we passed that magic moment when our noxes were equal and signalled the time to think about new life.
Our main hen flock now has a good mixture of varieties
This year we decided to be more organised in two respects. Firstly, after suffering brought in diseases, we will not buy any more hens from outside. Secondly, we agreed to do all our hatching in one cohort. We have sometimes in the past been in the situation of looking after newly hatched chicks, older ones still needing a heat lamp and pullets too young to join the main flock – all at the same time, needing lots of different accommodations.
So after making a draught proof corner of the sitting room
we set off 28 eggs on a 21 day journey
We bought half a dozen Blue Splash French Maran – like this
half a dozen Cuckoo Maran – a bit like this
Also six Australorp. This is Honey currently our only Australorp – she is twice as big as some of the hens and occupies top position
and also used some of our own eggs
with a couple of miscellaneous thrown in for good measure.