@ Yorkshire coop
Can't believe those Tolbunt eggs are ready to hatch already!!!.... doesn't time fly! Look forward to reading updates on them and keeping my fingers crossed although I'm sure under your expert supervision, they will all be successful.
Sorry to hear your egg tally has dropped again.... maybe it's a fluke that it has reduced and it will be back up again today. Yes, I found the secret nest.... actually there were two of them but I had already found the smaller one that only had 3 eggs in it a couple of days ago...it now has 5.... but I'm leaving it as it's owner may go broody when she gets enough. The other was a ladder and crawl board job but the stream of chickens joining the queue for it and chuntering on to the occupant of it to hurry up cos they were desperate, was the give away! Only 10 eggs, so it hasn't been on the go for very long. I think Tasha may have started it off as there were more of her eggs than anyone else's and she's got form for going up into the eaves when she's getting ready to go broody.... Funny how she will lay in my nest boxes quite happily for several months and then suddenly decide she wants her own.... it's like she's saying "those are yours and I give you them freely but I want these for myself". Unfortunately her daughters and granddaughters are nearly as quirky and flighty as she is and they have cottoned on to her idea but without finding their own nest site.
Yes my new littles are still doing well. I got two more eggs yesterday, so it seems that they have not been unduly stressed by their change of scene. I need to make them an add on covered pen though as things are just a bit more cramped than I would like for them now but I'm wary of letting them out into an open pen as they are small enough for the cat to maybe be tempted.
I spoke too soon about them managing the ramp though! I got a phone call from a friend the other night just as I was heading out to put them away and when I finished and went to lock them up it was dark and they were all pilled up together in the far back corner of the run underneath the coop. I couldn't reach them and I tried to lever them out with a broom shank but they would just rush back into the corner before I could grab them and the little doorway isn't wide enough for me to get both arms and shoulders through and of course I was having to try to hold a torch in one hand whilst I was wedged in the doorway on my knees and elbows with bum up in the air frantically trying to stretch a few more inches without getting stuck. Shame it was dark and there was no one about as someone could have had a good laugh at my expense otherwise. It must have looked comical. Needless to say, I have now modified the ramp and all went according to plan last night!
Yes, I will be intending to set some of their eggs or hopefully let them brood their own. They are just really sweet little things. Different to the large fowl altogether.... calmer and cuter! It's adding a whole new dimension to my poultry keeping. I would really like to put Frances in with them as she is my only other bantam but she is so used to being completely free range I'm not sure how she would take to being penned in and she holds her own really well in with the big girls and boys.... and of course, introducing a single to an established flock of 6 is not simple. I would probably have to split them and put one in with her and then reintroduce.... so lots to think about but her colouring would complement the group and she's half silkie, so would add an extra dimension to the genetics..... as you can tell I'm off and running with this mentally at least!!!
Had another great ride out yesterday with my sister and hope to get Rascal out on my own tomorrow. He was not happy about being left at home yesterday.... I so need another experienced rider, so that we can get all three out, but Ian won't entertain it, nor do I really want him riding my horses.... he doesn't have the patience. As far as he is concerned the best thing for them would be half an ounce of lead! Was thinking of placing a card on Morrisons display board... our local shop just closed, so that option is gone. I think I need to target places that the general public go rather than feedstores where the only people who see them already have horses. Maybe a sign on the gate since I'm on a busy main road, might generate some (perhaps too much!) interest.
Anyway, I must crack on with my daily chores now but look forward to logging in later to get an update on your hatch news.