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Monday, February 3, 2014


Burbles is one of our two house yard hens. Born in 2003 she became a member of this minority group through unusual circumstances.

She was one of a number of chicks hatched naturally by one of the experienced mums in the chook house. But for some reason she kept jumping out of the nest after birth. Mum was a bit distraught and we put her back several times.

On that hot day, we encountered a large Brown snake in the hen house. We backed off and waited for it to depart. Of course up in the nesting box mum was safe with her newborns, but one chicken was missing.  Well that explains the snake's interest we said sadly.Then there was a very audible pip pip pip from the back of a nesting box at ground level, followed by the appearance of the noise maker. 

For safety reasons the constantly escaping chick was taken into our house.  She had just hatched and had to be kept warm and safe. As she refused to stay in the nest, she had to live with us. That meant she also had to come to work with one of us. It was easier for Jean to take her; the chick happily sat in a pocket of Jean's for warmth and joined Jean for lunch. The chick was also very happy following Jean down corridors and into offices. She was a good companion, also chatting away. Her name came from the sounds she always makes.

When she was small, we kept her on the bench in the kitchen in the evening where she took advantage and helped clean up crumbs.

Eventually she grew into a magnificent Rhode Island Red fowl. And now at 11 years old she hasn't laid eggs for some years and has been designated a "Companion Fowl". All her life she has always enjoyed a quiet lap sit. When younger, she practised to be a hairdresser by removing any grey hairs from Jean. Now that those out number the rest the behaviour has ceased. Burbles is probably overwhelmed.

She now sleeps outside our bedroom in a small hollow she has made for herself in the warm soil. Burbles spends her days circumnavigating the house and venturing out into the wider garden. Most mornings start with a cup of tea and a sit with Burbles.


1 comment:

  1. Lovely post. And lucky Burbles to have such caring friends.