Chooky and her brood living dangerously

ISOBEL EWING
Last updated 05:00 08/02/2014
hens
MOBILE NEST: Chris Munro, of Tarata, with Chooky the hen who laid her eggs under the seat of the farm buggy.

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It's been a rocky ride for a brood of chickens after a hen chose a peculiar nesting spot.

Chris Munro and her husband Don, of Tarata, began to wonder when they saw eggs underneath the farm buggy two weeks ago.

"Then I started the buggy and this chook comes running out squawking and carrying on."

Mr Munro lifted up the buggy seat to find the hen had been perching on a ledge in the buggy's undercarriage, surrounded by dust and chunks of thistle.

"I was in hysterics thinking, this chook is driving around the farm," Mrs Munro said.

She was amazed the plucky bird had managed to keep herself and her eggs secure as the buggy hurtled through thistles and over lumps and bumps.

"The other day we went up the steepest hill, even the neighbour wouldn't drive up it but Chooky and me had to go up there.

"The whole time I was looking back expecting to see chickens and eggs rolling down."

Chickens tended to sit on their eggs for at least 21 days so it was likely Chooky had been taking her clutch all over the farm for about three weeks.

"As you can see, she's been fencing," Mrs Munro said, indicating the lengths of wire and tools on the buggy tray.

Mrs Munro thought it would be a miracle if the eggs hatched after all the jiggling around during their gestation.

But yesterday she heard chirping and gently lifted Chooky up to find three newly hatching squawking youngsters.

Chooky was a first-time mum so her unusual choice in nesting spot could be forgiven.

"It's her first lot of chickens so she probably doesn't know any better."

This is not the first time chooks have displayed unique behaviour on the Munro farm.

"A wild cat killed a chook and her chickens and a rooster brought up the one chicken that was left," Mrs Munro said.

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- Taranaki Daily News

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