Barley has finally decided she will brood. Could there be a tiny slither of hope that one of those large grubby eggs will hatch a mini version of a happy-go-lucky Barley crossed with an aloof tufted headed Bonnie ( Dad)? In three weeks we will know.
Barley chose a secret spot near the chicken forest area. Shadows, quiet and secluded. But no protection from rain. A torrential downpour yesterday resulted in a quick build of a pespex roof with four rickety timber supports plonked on top of her nest in a moment of mummy goose vacating to go and shout at Daddy goose.
Poor Bumble ( who fancies Bonnie rotten) feels a little left out and mooches about looking for naughty things to do like chewing tool handles, bucket edges, and chasing chickens. She is Bonnies constant shadow normally but he is now off doing the good dad job and guarding his mate. She waddles over making sad sighing honking noises and even watermelon doesn’t appear so exciting anymore. We have to find Bumble a gander. Geese can live to be 40 years old and that is far too long for Bumble to be mateless.
But I digress. Yesterday Bonnie vanished. We didn’t realize until Barley appeared at the fence having a shouting session. Coming for a dip in the cool water tub, daddy goose was missing! She waddled off swiftly to the main goose pen…not in there. Off to the chicken barn near the food store…not there either. With Bumble? No. Well eggs can’t be left so hopefully he will turn up.
The chickens get a run nearly every day. A mad sort of prison release where I arrive at the gate to be trampled by over 20 little red guys clamering for meal worms. They shoot off in all directions. Some to the beds to dig for worms, others to ransack the goose pen and kick straw about. Some find a shady spot with a best friend and spend an hour or so gossiping. Little pockets of chickens litter the garden whilst Bumble patrols, keeping order.
At sunset the chickens head for bed. It’s automatic and avoids chicken herding by me which is akin to as they say, to hearding cats….impossible, stupid and I realize these little guys can turn on a penny.
But wait. Whats this? An accumulation of chickens in a queue for bed. Is there an obstruction on the stairway like a slug? Nope, but the girls hate those. Something scary in the coop? Well they never sleep inside so we assume its full of monsters. A huge coop and they all crowd on a little terrace out front. Ridiculous! Is Teesel being annoying as usual and overdoing her top-chicken job choosing who goes to bed first? Cooking pot for that one? Only joking.
Hang on, whose that squeezing out of the coop doorway? It’s Bonnie! Gingerly he tries to get off the terrace. Watch the drop! Flappy rubber feet not good for climbing.
He is honking approval. A lovely new goose house for the new goosie family?
Gingerly he ascends the stairway and chickens scatter. Then off to tell Barley and get a scolding. Live in a chicken coop? What a silly Bonnie!