Great news from the Mbalenhle School, Swaziland! The 300 chickens, bought with money raised here, laid 268 eggs in one day. With 30 eggs fetching 25 rand, that is a good income for Mbalenhle Primary School, whose self-sufficiency Bedales has been working towards during the course of the project over the past four years; all has been marshalled by the formidable drive of Physics teacher Ransi Jayatissa and assisted by a range of students and staff. Next step is to buy four cows, which will cost about 5000 rand each. First bit of Maths would be to work out potential income from the hens, both in rands and pounds, over the course of a week, month and year. Next step – and this really rankles – is to do a merciless comparison with the performance of the Budge hens, currently scurrying outside for their early morning pannage. With a fine respect for decimal convenience there are three of them, Brochette Mixte, Posy and Shelley (although they are often now known merely as “those birds”); in warm weather, if we are lucky, and if we get to the egg (often soft-shelled) before the dog, we have two eggs every three days. So, how much more productive are the Mbalenhle eggs than our luckless trio?