We have had over two weeks of dry, sunny weather here on the Outer Hebrides. While those on the mainland have shivered through the snow drifts, we have basked in the sunlight, and enjoyed the long evenings.
The hens, in particular, have loved the return of Springtime here on the islands. They enjoyed helping when I was digging over the raised beds last week, scratching and scrabbling around - eating all my worms - naughty girls!
But mostly, they like to roam around the garden - foraging for the odd bug, or doing a spot of sunbathing.
Of, course - they do lay the most fantastic freerange eggs - even if we have to hunt around for them,
Unless, of course, they decide to go broody, and take over the hen hut - scaring away any hen, or egg collector that comes near them. This particular girl is a perpetual broody, but she isn't any good at it. I have let her sit on eggs several times before, but after a week or so, she pecks them all and abandons the nest. A few weeks later she is at it again! Yesterday, I ventured out to see what the ladies had laid for us, and found Crazy Hen sitting firmly in one of the nest boxes. I recognised the angry growls with a sigh. Donning a stout pair of gardening gloves (a broody hen is a vicious beast) I removed her from the box and carried her off to a makeshift broody coop where I gave her some fertile eggs to sit on. We'll see what happens in 3 weeks time, although I don't have great expectations.
So - that is Hen Life in the Hebrides - dawn to dusk, scratching, pecking, sunbathing, laying and roosting outside. Pretty perfect, I would say.
Yes - absolutely perfect!