10 September, 2008

Chickens: we can count them now

Today was an exciting day. Rob had a day off in lieu so we finally sorted out the chicken run and got it in place, fixed to the hen house. Then we headed off to a local poultry farm. After much searching on the net, perusal of books and lots of conflicting advice from friends and family, we decided we were starting to get too intense about it all, so said sod it and went to the nearest place around 4 miles from here. We are now the proud owners of 3 Black Rock hens and 3 Light Sussex. Sue was keen on the Black Rock, Rob thinks that we'll be able to spot the Light Sussex easily in the field (as will Fantastic Mr Fox...) and I am pretty clueless, but like the colour contrast.

We brought them back in two cat baskets via Nicholls, our local agricultural suppliers. I'm visiting all sorts of places I never really knew existed filled with stuff I have never seen or for that matter smelt before. The shop had a pungent sweet smell which was feed of some kind. And a really interesting notice board with lots of stuff about horses, grass cutting and an equine chiropractor. Not that I'm in the market for any of this but it's interesting seeing another side of life.

Once we'd finished doing various other tasks like sorting out a chainsaw (Rob) and picking up the kids from school (me), we headed back out, camera and children in hand and introduced the six hens to their new home. They were a little timid at first but soon came out and pecked about on the grass.

And one had laid an egg already.

Knowing nothing as yet about chickens I can't tell if she was so comfortable she laid an egg, or so freaked out.Annoyingly I managed to crack it when pulling out the cat basket but still, one egg when we didn't expect any for weeks.

Rob seemed to spend most of the rest of the afternoon chicken-gazing.

They are quite fascinating - you can already see some character traits and who is likely to be boss. There's one Black Rock who makes much more noise, is much more curious and much bossier than all the others. No names yet, but no doubt they'll come.

The children came in after a long visit with the hens and starting drawing chicken pictures. Here's Emilia's.

Rob and Sue put them to bed. Apparently they showed no inclination to head into the house so had to be put into it by Rob. No pecking which I take as a good sign.

Wow. Less than a year into country life, and I've got chickens.

1 comment:

Buddhist in Training said...

Oooh, how exciting. I love my chickens and they are fascinating to watch, a bit like fish!! I'm not sure they have much control over egg laying once said egg has started on the production line but, how nice to have one already. I look forward to reading how you get on with your new additions.