Commencing Countdown, Engines On

Mrs Brahma has done herself proud. 6 weeks ago she was sat glumly in the hen house, refusing to shift her fat bottom outside and trying her level best to die. Enter Colonel Mustard II. And enter he did, the frisky old devil; lucky little Mrs B never knew what had hit her. Once she had taken a good look at her new paramour, there was an awful lot of flustered grooming and parading for a few days, before they settled down to cosy domesticity.

To my delight, and possibly to her surprise, she began to lay again about 10 days ago and I have pounced gleefully on them all. Along with 6 Gold Laced Orpington eggs I have purchased, today I switched on the incubator and set them to cook.

Hopefully, 21 days from now there should be small inquisitive beaks poking out of shells. I’m quite pathetically excited at the prospect. I shall candle them in a week and see if anything is actually developing, or if the Colonel is shooting blanks. It happens to the very best of us.

It’s always difficult when livestock don’t breed to expectations and you’re an infertile farmer’s wife with 3 miscarriages under her belt. You tend to get darkly upset, and brood for years, when your MIL talks disparagingly of a cow just delivered of a dead calf as ‘a dead loss, girlie’. Or when your FIL, who is a lovely and well-meaning chap but not the most naturally empathic soul ever born, keeps thinking that the small field directly in front of your house is the ideal spot to park ewes who have slipped lamb early. Every damn year. Every one marked with a bright red cross on her back.

My failure to have children, surrounded by an industry that essentially centres on reproduction, generated some very dark feelings before Harry was born. I can remember sobbing to Hubby on a number of occasions when things had gone badly, again, that if I was a ewe or a cow he’d have sold me for slaughter by now. 

Poor John. That must have been a facer, because he couldn’t deny the fundamental truth of it. He did, of course, point out my distinct lack of udders (not sure about that one now, after 10 months of breastfeeding; bit of a pendulous thing going on these days), hairy ears and hooves. Presence of wedding ring, etc. My counsellor, a patient and wonderful soul who has acquired me for life, also experienced some difficulty in prying me away from this concept. I still get wound up like a spring when I detect that fertility issues are dictating a one-way trip to market for livestock; but my suggestions that these girlies be given a nice fresh field of grass and a long gentle coast into doddering old age are not well-received.

Anyhoo. Fat lot of use in me getting irked up; I can’t change anything. But the point I’m trying to make here, in my usual long-winded fashion, is that if every one of the eggs in my incubator is infertile – I won’t mind at all.

10 Responses

  1. I can’t imagine how frustrating that must be, noticing those parallels all the time. I found depressing similarities in all aspects of my life, so I know I would really have dwelled on the anti-infertilites rife in athe agricultural world. Ugh.

  2. Oh God. The farm animals. I am so glad I haven’t lived on a farm since my late teens. When the hens went off the lay we ATE them (chicken-flavoured leather, yes, but we were poor, poor but honest, guv’, and anyway, there were a hundred and fifty of us living in t’ shoebox in t’ middle o’ road).

    I try not to flail about and tell H he should wring my neck and boil me with carrots, but I feel it, occasionally.

  3. This looks so fun! I would LOVE to have chicks! 🙂

  4. You’ve raised my IF awareness another notch, it would be disconcerting to realise your fate had you been born something other than a human. And, in your case, a human with a well developed sense of the ridiculous with a great ability to make others laugh.

    Good luck with the chickie-babes.

  5. I hope there are some baby chicks in a few weeks. The animal world can be so cruel, I would want to save them all too! nclm

  6. I breed and show schipperkes and often tell my friends that if I were a dog, my relatives and I would be spayed and placed in a pet home because we have an inherited disorder that can be quite ugly. They just look at me strange. To my dog friends I say, I am just glad I wasn’t born 100 years ago as I would have been drown in a bucket a birth!
    They totally understand this, as do the world of infertiles and deadbabymamas.

  7. Being a total ignorant urban-raised twit, I’d never really thought about the nasty realities of not-so-successfully-reproducing farm animals.

    I’d be in a right swivet, every time.


  8. I cannot wait to see beaks popping out of eggs, but like you, it would be ok if there were none. That’s the way of the world, it happens to the best of us like you said.

    I just love reading your blog, I feel like I’m right there having a conversation with you.

    Thanks for the birthday greeting, the icing is VERY yum!

  9. Fab fab fab blog, and a fellow Brit too!

    Just wanted to say Hello x

  10. […] massacred apart from my original Brahma hen (a clever old girl whom I noted had gone to ground to hide somewhere during […]

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