We have chicks.
I arrived home from London and late and knackered on Wednesday. The other side of the valley was still flooded with sunlight. Wonderful June where getting home after nine still lets you have some of the day.
"I've got a surprise for you. "
"Well it's the colour of scrambled egg for a clue."
There were two tiny chicks huddled amongst the eggs when we lifted the chicken. She squawked protestingly. They were so tiny and yellow and fluffy they seemed almost too chick-like to be true, like fancy dress chicks, Disney chicks, surely they should look wetter, scrawnier, more like chicks from the school of hard knocks, but no, there they were so perfect you could have put them on an Easter cake.
Today there are another three, all five still firmly under the hen, for warmth I presume. I have put a chick water holder in there, specially designed to let out only a little so that they don't fall in and drown, and chick crumbs too. For the first twenty four hours or so a chick does not need to feed, living still on the nourishment from the egg, but now the older ones should be ready to take something. I am crossing my fingers and relying on the hen to sort it all out although as far as I can see she is just sitting there as determinedly as though they were all still eggs.
There are another seven eggs in the nest and presumably at some point a decision has to be made as to whether they will hatch or not but so far so good.