crouchley hall farm

  • the bird of wonder dies

    Last autumn we bought some new hens. We carefully integrated them with the older birds. But even so, every night for the past 6 months, I've had to remove 3 birds from the nest boxes, put them onto their perches and shut off the nest boxes to stop them creeping back in there. You never want hens roosting in the nest box - gets messy.

    This morning when I let them out we were one short. Sure enough one had died suddenly in the night. No explanation. No reason. It had literally just fallen off its perch. That happens sometimes with hens. As a prey species they're very VERY good at concealing any weakness. It's the weak that get eaten after all. So by the time even the most observant of poultry keepers spot that anything's wrong, it's often too late. Which is what I think happened here.

    The odd thing though, is that after 6 months of putting the young birds to bed each night, suddenly tonight they were all on their perches like proper hens. Seems like the bird it was that died, was the one in the pecking order that was stopping them roosting properly. What a bully.

    Funny things hens.

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