Essex

Mountfitchet Castle chicks hatch in 'boar's sty'

chick on top of boars head Image copyright MOuntfitchet Castle
Image caption The chicks hatched in nests built next to a replica boar at Mountfitchet Castle in Essex

A castle has welcomed 20 chicks to its grounds after hens nested next to a lifelike replica boar.

The boar - which has a moving head - is one of a number of animated replica creatures at Mountfitchet Castle.

Staff at the site, an open air museum, were surprised to find two nests had been created next to the arc of its belly.

Owner Jeremy Goldsmith said seeing the hatched chicks on Thursday morning had been a "lovely surprise" for staff.

Image copyright MOuntfitchet Castle
Image caption The chicks have been seen playing on top of the boar's back and head

He said it remained unclear why the hens had made the nests next to the boar, though it was likely they chose it because it was a secluded spot with straw, and perhaps for a sense of protection from the replica animal

The chicks have been seen playing on top of the boar's back and head.

Image copyright Mountfitchet Castle
Image caption Twenty-six eggs were laid in two nests built beside the replica boar

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