Of the first six pairs: five have produced youngsters, 15 babies in total. The pair that haven't produced are laying again and the first egg is fertile.

The stats: 26 eggs laid, 19 fertile, 2 addled, 1 dead in shell, 16 hatched, 1 died (10 days old), 15 rung and growing.

The youngsters have been moved around, none of the hens have more than four youngsters to bring up. Besides not over-tiring the parents, moving the chicks around means that if one pair runs into serious problems some of their youngsters will survive in another nest.

One pair have produced six youngsters, five are pieds and the oldest are beginning to look good and big, and they still have another two weeks before they leave the nest - fingers crossed.