I have kept poultry since childhood ever since returning with my parents from a farm on Exmoor with a box containing half a dozen bantams smuggled into the back of their car. When one laid an egg en route and started cackling, my mother was furious. Fortunately we were too far into our journey for them to be taken back. In time, she became equally fond of them and even allowed them to wander into the house to be given scraps of food.
The original bantams were farmyard mongrels but since I came to live in the secret valley I have kept Lavender Pekins. These are allowed to wander the fields, even though they become supper for the fox, for there is nothing more delightful than to see happy hens striding down to the river or up the valley and (hopefully) back again.
Bantams – or Cochins, as they are called in Canada and the USA – are ideal as garden birds for they do very little damage unlike their full sized relatives. We keep those too but they are – with difficulty – kept firmly beyond the fence. I have written about the bantams in an earlier post and this can be seen by clicking here.
The other day I came across a couple of abandoned bantam eggs put them into a basket, kept them warm and waited to see what happened.
What a result! An hour later it was dry and fluffy ….. and making even more noise!