Along with the first eggs of the season, there are other significant events that punctuate the henkeeper’s calendar. For me, many of these are about daylight: the long days of summer when you’re actually in your pyjamas waiting for those hens to retire so you can lock them away for the night; that slightly grim time when the clocks go back and the flock are soon retiring by 4pm. And today is the first time I’ve opened up the pop-hole at 6am and both Mabel and Audrey are ready to leave their warm nestbox (they’ve never taken to perching, but that’s a whole other story), which means I get to see them before going to work instead of taking a torch to light up the coop and opening up the door long before the two Araucana hens are ready to emerge.
The girls emerged so swiftly this morning they must have been waiting by the pop-hole, keen as mustard. Not so wide awake and eager was Beau the Bengal who’d evidently been up all might and was found snoozing on this chair in the bathroom.