Well, it’s shaping up to be an interesting election. Just what is going on in the birdhive? Human Todd has resigned as opposition leader, which is disappointing, as he really ought to have done that before I named my young rooster after him. Chicken Todd seems to be unaffected by this news. He is full of confidence and charm, even though it’s not getting him anywhere at the moment. The news of Toddy’s replacement – human Todd that is – has come out. Judith. Some weeks ago I named my two youngest chickens Jacinda and Judith. Nailed it! I bet the chickens knew all along too.
I am not yet sure how this news is going to change the chicken election results. Frodo has bowed out of contention by declaring full broodiness. Todd tried to have some conversations with her when she came out of Featherburn Lodge in a noisy display of defiance, but she would not speak to him. Winston Cheepers knew better than to try reasoning with her. He just kept her away from the rest of the campaigners, who were starting to get rowdy.
The Beatrix Potter Party is currently ahead in the polls. Tiggywinkle is full of clout but Jemima continues to surprise with quiet but firm displays of leadership. The Matrix Party is also looking quite strong. Morpheus has decided that she has something to offer and is currently ahead of Trinity. Jenny Cheeply continues to prance around announcing her grand ideas but she doesn’t seem to be making any gains up the ladder. I don’t think the others are impressed that she keeps flying out of the pen whenever she feels like it.
Jacinda and Judith are still keeping their distance from the more experienced campaigners but I have noticed them squabbling with each other increasingly. They are also keeping their distance from me, and will not tell me anything.
Winston Cheepers will not answer questions about who he wants to work with as head hen. There have been a lot of hushed conversations going on, but when asked what his plans are, Winston Cheepers promptly changes the topic to, “Watch out! There’s a bird in the sky!”
Nobody thought Ribby was going to get anywhere, coming in late as she did, but Winston Cheepers has been spotted with her on a number of occasions, giving her an unexpected amount of his time. There is a chance she could coast up the ladder on his coattails.
Things took a further interesting turn when Jenny Cheeply decided to follow Frodo’s lead and announced that she was departing the campaign in favour of broodiness. Will Ribby be the next to follow suit or will Winston be able to keep her in the running?
Meanwhile, I have put a second round of Winston’s eggs into the incubator. The first ones are now in lockdown under Frodo for her to hatch and raise. Winston Cheepers doesn’t know what’s coming!
Egg Batch #1
The eggs were candled on Day 8. Of Frodo’s five, two had blood rings which means a very early death. Her other three and all of Jenny Cheeply’s eight eggs have developed. Jenny Cheeply, daughter of Frodo, has been an egg-laying machine. That leaves us with:
- 3 Frodo eggs
- 8 Jenny Cheeply eggs
Seeing that both these mothers are blue and the father, Winston Cheepers, is black, the chicks have a 50% chance of being blue and 50% chance of being black. Frodo is sitting on these eggs in the Big Cage in the garage. Hatch Day is on Tuesday.
Egg Batch #2
The other hens started cooperating again so there are more eggs in this batch. Ribby is laying well but I won’t be hatching any of her eggs. We started with 22 eggs. On Day 7 candling, four were not growing, leaving us with 18. One of Frodo’s had a blood ring (her last before going broody), one of Jenny Cheeply’s had a blood ring (it was 11 days old when put in, so that’s not surprising!) and Morpheus had two failed eggs – one blood ring and one infertile. That leaves us with:
- 2 Frodo eggs
- 10 Jenny Cheeply eggs
- 3 Trinity eggs
- 3 Morpheus eggs
I am very impressed with Jenny Cheeply’s eggs. This is why I’m persisting with breeding the Frodo line – healthy chickens with good egg-laying abilities, even in winter and good fertility. And broodiness… They lay well, with good eggs, and then they want to hatch them. They want their genetics to carry on! And that means something to me. Frodo is old now – 5 years old – so her eggs aren’t as good as they used to be, but I’ll keep trying while she’s still here and laying.
Frodo and Jenny Cheeply chicks would have the same 50/50 colour odds as above. Morpheus and Trinity are both black, so all their chicks will be black. Andrew was the father of both of them, so I am looking forward to getting some chicks from his line.
I will be hatching more eggs in the near future but young Todd is at the point where he needs to be separated for breeding purposes. He’s trying things. I am planning to put Todd in the Henley Hut with a couple of hens in the coming weeks, but I haven’t quite finalised which ones yet. I bet that’ll throw a spanner in their election..