Yesterday twenty ladies descended on our farm - twenty rather heavy, hopefully pregnant ladies who have taken up Winter residence in our loose housing.
It was cleaned out a month ago (full of last year's well-rotted manure, which was spread on the fields) and at the beginning of this week the farmer spread a deep layer of straw ready for their arrival. Two hens immediately commandeered it for their own and promptly laid a couple of eggs each in the straw!
They came up the pasture from our friend and neighbour A and once they saw the straw and the deep layer of silage ready for tea outside they trotted in happily, udders swinging from side to side.
They will stay in there until maybe a month before the due date of giving birth when each one will go home for a special diet for that last month. For the past few months they have 'enjoyed' a wander in the fields with a friendly Aberdeen Angus bull, so time will tell how many are pregnant. Hopefully it will be all of them.
So welcome Ladies of the Dale. I always enjoy your Winter stay.