The Cottage Smallholder

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Update on Agatha

Pretty little chicken/bantam house

Pretty little chicken/bantam house


On Monday morning Agatha sprang to her feet when I went into the run. She had eaten all the food in her feeder and was hungry. She also wasn’t sitting on the eggs that I gave her last night. These were not the hatching eggs but eggs laid by our flock.

I suppose that she was really rattled by being moved on Sunday night. Also Queen Zeb had been ripping up the cardboard from one side of the broody coop, which must have been disconcerting for poor old Agatha. I spotted Queen Zeb in action when I was pottering about in the run.

Gradually over the course of the day, Agatha started to settle down. We decided to let her sit for another day or so until we are sure that she is happy and in full broody mode. Then we’ll introduce the hatchling eggs that have travelled all the way from Scotland.

We ordered six mixed bantam eggs. I chose two Creole Pekins, two black and white Polands and two Silver Birchen Pekin eggs.



Agatha had knocked over her feeder and water fountain and broken two of the ‘any old eggs’ that I’d put in the coop for her to sit on. She’d moved the other two to the place where she likes to sit. She was on her feet and moving about the coop so I didn’t set the hatching eggs under her.


The pretty little house and run that I ordered from eBay arrived! It was delivered in a flat pack. The visual instructions showed two people and a screwdriver. I managed fine on my own to construct the house part between showers. This is a superb small hen house – I was surprised with the quality, it’s sturdy and well designed.

Agatha watched me from the broody coop and the rest of the flock pecked at the worms as I prepared the ground. .I removed the old Emerald Castle from the chicken run – it was so rotten that it collapsed completely as I dragged it out into the kitchen garden. The new house has already been treated with wood preservative so we’ll wait until the autumn to give it another coat for the winter.

Hope is springing about in the rain and shows no sign of going broody again. Little scamp.

Early evening:

During the delicate process of moving A into her new domain she slipped free and spent a happy hour getting my flock in line with well placed pecks. She finally mounted the gangplank that leads upstairs to the dormitory in the main chicken house.

I moved her quickly to her new abode.



When I moved the roof and peeped into the new house, Agatha was standing and looking up at me. The ‘any old eggs’ were scattered about the floor of the house. Perhaps the darkness of the house would get her back into her broody state?


Agatha clearly is not broody any more. So I returned her to The Chicken Lady.

We’re really disappointed. But at least we now have a new chicken house that is ready for any hen that goes broody or needs to be isolated.

There is good news though. TCL and S have another broody hen. A sweet little black naked neck hen called Mimi. She is going to sit on the eggs that were sent down from Scotland. When the eggs hatch, Mimi and her brood will be transported to the cottage so we all can see the chicks grow up.


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  1. Tamar@StarvingofftheLand

    Why is it that, in these ventures, the adage about “if at first you don’t succeed …” comes to mind so very often?

    We currently have a broody hen sitting on 6 turkey eggs, and our fingers are crossed. It’s been about a week and a half, and all is well, but Queenie could pull an Agatha any day.

    Good luck with the next hen!

  2. Tanya @ Lovely Greens

    What a mission you’ve had in the last few days. Building a new coop (cute!), ordering eggs, dealing with Agatha and now organising a new broody. I hope it all works out though and that the eggs from Scotland hatch into cute little chicks 🙂

  3. Gosh.. it all seems very hit and miss.. and I thought hens just laid eggs and got on with it!

  4. Love reading about your chooks!
    Jille x

  5. Terrier

    I was going to suggest that we have a broody Maran at the mo, Fiona, but it’s a long way to travel.Fingers crossed for new broody

  6. Veronica

    Naughty old Agatha! I hope Mimi does her duty 🙂

  7. Magic Cochin

    Aaaagh! Hens… they never do what you want them to!

    Good luck with Plan C, or is it D?


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