“Don’t count your chickens before they hatch” is a well- known adage advising us to avoid planning on an outcome before it happens. However, I have a new maxim: find your eggs before they hatch or else you’ll be counting chickens.
Lots of them.
Initially, I had only four — one rooster and three hens. The rooster was a lovely bird, very tame, but it must have been sterile because he fertilised not a single egg despite two years of jumping on the hens. Unfortunately, he and a hen were killed by a quoll, a marsupial vampire that attacks at night, slashes its victim’s throat and drinks the blood.
A friend gave me another rooster with which to fertilise the two remaining hens and replenish the flock. This bird was psychotic (an important piece of information my friend neglected to mention) as well as having the power of invisiblity. He would appear suddenly, attack the dogs, leave bruises on my legs and chase people around the property.
He had to go.
However, before his demise it impregnated a hen and nine chicks emerged a month later. Seven of them became roosters and this caused another problem.
The hens hide eggs all over the property — under shrubs, in pot plants and even in the driveway. If I’m lucky I’ll stumble across 20 eggs. If I’m unlucky, I’ll see hens with their chicks in tow.
You really can have too much of a good thing and too many chickens.