Sunday, 1 August 2010
The New Arrivals.
Well folks, the farmer and I have skirted round each other, putting forwards 'fors' and 'againsts' and done a lot of bargaining - and the issue has been resolved amicably.
Yesterday we collected eight new hens. Six of them are Light Sussex/Rhode Island Red cross breeds - bred for their egg-laying prowess. They are nice young birds and look very perky - maybe a month off laying.
But then - surprise, surprise - the farmer suggested I chose a couple of 'fancy' hens (his word!) so, never one to hang back in such situations, I did. They are blue haze hens and as you will see in the photograph they are easily distinguishable - one has a distincly red neck and the other has much darker plumage.
I did look longingly at a handsome cockerel but the farmer was having none of it. Accoring to him (and I suppose (grudgingly) he is right) a cockerel will be more-likely to encourage the hens to go broody (i.e. stop laying eggs).
The result of this compromise is that my remaining six hens, many of whom are fifteen years old, will be allowed to live out the rest of their lives scratching about in the fields and generally enjoying life, even if they don't produce more than the odd egg.
Goldie, who I bred myself in a clutch of eggs a friend gave me, is once again in the Sin bin as you will see in the photograph. She is at least fifteen years old and is more or less permanently broody. This means that as soon as one of the other old dears lays an egg Goldie rushes up, shooes the old hen away and sits on her egg. The upshot is usually a broken egg as poor old Goldie is a bit arthritic. So periodically she spends a few days in isolation - she doesn't seem to mind.
So - here is a job for you all. I want names for my two blue haze girls - all suggestions will be gratefully received.