Friday, 7 March 2008

A Nest in the Veggie Patch

This is Lola, one of our two West of England Geese. She started laying in Mid-February, usually in her stall before I release her in the morning, but she has now made herself a proper nest, in a corner of our vegetable garden.

Her chosen spot is in an area which had become somewhat overgrown last Autumn. Mo had killed the grass which had grown up, and the next step would have been to clear the dead grass away, preparatory to tilling the ground ready for planting.

But Lola thinks all that dead grass is perfect for a nest. What's more, we have wind break netting along the side of the plot, so she's nice and sheltered from the prevailing westerlies.

When she's laid her egg (and she lays one once every other day), she spends half an hour or so carefully covering it with more dead grass, before wandering off to join Amelia, our other West of England, and Amos, our gander.

It would be nice to leave the eggs there, and let her sit on them when she feels she has a big enough clutch. But we get foxes in our garden every night, and she would be killed for certain if we didn't put her away in her stall every night.

I'll be putting 40 odd Leghorn eggs in the incubator on Monday, and after they hatch at the beginning of April, I'll put a clutch of Lola's and Amelia's eggs in. Once those eggs are in the incubator, I'll try and encourage Lola to use a nest I've built for her in her stall. If she does, I'll leave the eggs there and see if she will hatch them out.