It's his turn to go in a trap and catch another.
It went quiet on the crow and magpie trapping front for the past couple of weeks. Whether it's the cold snap we had, or whether there's been enough territory freed up by our trapping efforts to prevent fighting, we're not sure. This crow was number 25 caught this spring.
Underkeeper Pete has had great success trapping grey squirrels, a foreign invader here in the UK that threatens the native red squirrel population. Pete had 6 squirrels in one trap today. I'm pretty far behind Mike's and Pete's trapping skills, but I'm learning.
Looking out the kitchen window this morning while making coffee, I saw Mike walking across the garden carrying Myfanwy, the spectacled chicken. This could only mean that the specs weren't working to prevent egg eating. Mike caught her in the act and sent her to Eggsile again while we decide her fate.
She had a friend join her mid-morning. Our last lone game hen. She's an unspecified breed of a fighting-type chicken (don't ask - it doesn't bear thinking about and thankfully it's illegal). Seven game pullets were just dumped here one day. She's the last of her group.
The game hens go broody but with a vengeance. Their natural maternal instincts combined with their tendency towards aggression turned them into sociopaths. They would fight each other, kill the other game hens' broods and trample their own in the process. Nothing survived their mothering. As soon as a game hen went down on a clutch of eggs, all the other hens in the garden gave her a wide birth.
We felt sorry for the game hens, a victim of their breeding and unwanted by their breeders. We kept them, but never let them hatch another clutch of eggs ever again. Frustrated, some game hens would find quiet spots in the hedgerow to lay a sneaky clutch. Although we could never find them, the fox always did and one by one a game hen would disappear in summer.
Mike has a soft spot for this one hardened survivor. I did too, until I found she's been turfing other chickens off their nests and sitting on their eggs as her own. Not content with just one hen, she's madly defending at least two clutches that aren't hers and preventing them from hatching because she can't sit on both at the same time. She had to be stopped. I risked a good kicking to catch her, take her off the nest and put her in Eggsile.
Both wayward chickens await a verdict now. Until then, at least they have each other. Unless one of them lays an egg, and then it will be war.