Saturday, January 25, 2014

Help... Robbers! & Making Nests

The next two years went as usual.
She was a cheerful and lively little creature. In the mating season she laid her eggs and together we made nests.  She had several nests at the same time, with many eggs, in fact … too many.
Sometimes there were so many eggs that I had to take the oldest ones away to avoid that they would *explode - and a few times - *that happened.
The stench of the rotting eggs was really disgusting! 
Then we had to clean the whole nest place thoroughly because the stench was really not to bear.
From then on we let her keep only one nest.

On the way to one of her nests among the reeds

Actually that was no problem for her because in fact, she was also no longer interested in the older nest.
In the late evening, at sunset, after she had covered her eggs careful she went to her pond to spend the night.
On a certain morning my hubby released her out of her pen and as usual she ran immediately to her nest.
Not half a minute later she came running back to us – quacking loudly and a little in panic.
We wondered what had happened.
Together we went to watch her nest, and there we found a few broken and empty eggs "beside" her nest and one egg broken in her nest.
How could an egg ended up beside the nest, how could that happen!
Our garden was secured with a fence. Could there have been an intruder?
So we removed the empty eggshells, cleansed her nest and without hesitation Pipke went back brooding on her eggs.

Then the next morning before my hubby went to Pipke's pen he first went to watch her nest to be sure that everything was OK there.
Unsuspectingly he grabbed inside the nest to count the eggs when - suddenly he felt a sharp stabbing pain. 
I heard him yelling – ai! 
Of course - I was curious and so I went to see what was going on there!
When he looked inside the nest he discovered he had hurt himself on the prickles of an Hedgehog!
Now we knew who the “evildoer” was!
The little rascal had rotated himself around an egg to squeeze it and so to break it.
Unfortunately for him: despite all his efforts - today - there would be no omelette for breakfast! :)
Of course - we couldn't leave him there and we also didn't want to kill him.
So my hubby put on a pair of leather garden gloves to pick up the little bandit – and even through the gloves he could feel his prickles. 
Then he took him to the nearest woodland and released him there.
Now we still wonder: had Pipke panicked because she had felt the nasty prickles of the hedgehog?
We will never know.
To prevent that more evil doers could enter the garden, we closed the small slit under the little garden gates. In case they were still inside, the evenings thereafter we also took her eggs away and in the morning we put them back .
Thereafter we saw only once another hedgehog and my hubby brought this one also to the woodland.

Quite at ease resting in her dog-bed on the *countertop of the laundry room -
(her *favorite spot for her early morning nap)
waiting for cuddles!

Making Nests

Now it was safe in the garden. We could leave the eggs in the nest and she could make nests wherever she wanted and, that was sometimes in the most odd places.
Once she had made a nest between the branches of the Cotoneaster. She had to wrench herself between the rigid twigs. it wasn't at all easy to get in or out the nesting place, she sometimes almost got stuck with her tiny feet between the twigs. To make it easier for her we clipped a few of the larger branches.
While we were cutting the branches she stood watching there. It almost seemed as if she was supervising our work: and yes, she approved it. From the moment the entrance was widened she went to sit on the nest. It was cute to see how sometimes, only her head or sometimes only a tiny piece of her crest came peeping through the sticks. This nesting place, with a good entrance (now there was a hole in the Cotoneaster) would become, for the rest of her life, a place to return to often. Therefor we always kept the entrance open.

Two chatter boxes at her nesting place between the cotoneaster. 
Look how dense these twigs grew. 
In between these stiff twigs she made nests. 

We often stood there together while she chatted and chatted – she loved that place – we had made it especially for her.
Another odd spot was: our muck heap. She'd chosen this place itself.
Of course: I would have taken her to another spot but probably she had chosen this place because it was warm there. She crawled then on top of the heap, and I presented her then some new twigs or Bamboo leaves. It was really beautiful to see with how much love and devotion she arranged them carefully around her body.
It was really beautiful to see with how much love and devotion she did this. The most obvious place for a nest was in a corner of her pen. We covered this nest with reed and so she had a sheltered nest.

 The best year of her life followed.

Our happy little princess!
Resting in her dog-bed outside the house besides our backdoor.

I call it the best year, because – at that time she was still very healthy. 
We didn't have to worry about her health: she weighed 2.400 kg. This was even maybe a little overweight. She was very vivid, made nests, laid eggs and she went through Winters with freezing temperatures of - 20° C (- 4 F) without problems, and even with this low temperature she stayed outside – without a warmth lamp.
The only bad periods in her life so far had been the molting periods, then you could really see her suffer, then she lost weight, and she wouldn't let you touch her, we really felt sorry for her then.                                        
She now had become five years old. 
She was in the prime of her life but – suddenly things changed dramatically!
I will tell you later what happened, then I will go further with:
Pipke on TV! (2000)   

 See you!


  1. oh how adorable
    reminds me of when our duck was broody--she sure was devoted to those eggs!

  2. Those images can put a smile on my face Tabitha!
    Listening to my sweet chatterbox ..... these were such happy and beautiful days!
    Thanks for your visit.
    PS: by the way, is everything OK with "True"? Hope to see a picture of him in the near future. See you!

  3. Oh, thank you for the continuation of the story! She sure looks lovely here! We once had a hedgehog "nesting" in the tiny "garden" next to our front door. We only discovered it after the winter when our children (young then) were outside playing noisily and "disturbed" the hedgehog. She /he eventually left and never returned. :(

    1. Yes, she looks good here. Look what a full breast she has here, and really - she doesn't wear a push-up bra! It's all real! Lol!
      Your little rascals :), brats :) or whatever you called them at that time, were too lively and noisy for the hedgehog! I'm sure they brought - and stil bring - much joy in your life. You can be proud of your girls Ter-O-Fla!
      By the way: did you know that a hedgehog is also called an "urchin".
      I never heard this before.
      In my case: never too old to learn!
      Thanks for your comment.

  4. Hmm, I tried to comment, but it disappeared. I will try again another day! Lovely story!

    1. Hmm, hmm! Without knowing it your attempt was successfull!
      Probably I had put my post in "draft" while you tried to comment. At the moment that I put a post in draft it disappears from my blog until I publish it again.
      Thanks anyway!