Look Lively Lovely Ladies

Ok so the Ladies are our hens but they have such characters you’d almost think they were humans.

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Friends of my neighbours asked if I would like to have their hens as they’re having to travel quite a lot at the moment. Could we manage another 3 I thought to myself. Well two hens were getting quite old and not laying any more so I said yes.

We now have 10 hens!

I’d planned on nestling all 3 on their roosting place at dusk with the others but that didn’t happen. They arrived fairly early in the morning following an hour and a half journey. I couldn’t leave them in a box so put them in the spare run and shut the dividing door off. They had a good sized outdoor area fenced off and a hen house to themselves.

The other Ladies came to see what all the commotion was about. They were running up and down outside the pen. I treated them all to some mealworms whic20160124_122923.jpgh was something new to mine. I left them to it for a couple of hours and as the others were still hanging around outside I thought I’d try to let them all into the unfenced area.

Big mistake – all three of the new hens flew at the older ones. Two of them stood up to the new ones but little Speckle (bantom) was completely mesmerised by this attack. She stood there startled and in shock. Time to separate them. In fact I left them apart until Saturday when I could be around to keep an eye on things.

Lucy (new) immediately rose up and┬ábumped chests with Marmalade and that was it. Nothing more from anyone. They’ve been keeping with their own two groups still but in time I’m sure that’ll change. Spangle is not exactly impressed still and makes the strangest of noises the second she feels someone is encroaching her space.

All was quiet, in fact too quiet so I went to investigate. The older group became rebels and crossed the farmyard, gone under the gate, walked up next doors gravel drive, through their garden up to the back of their place. Why? Oh well they discovered they had a bird feeder. Each time a b20160123_113925.jpgird ate food they were there underneath to catch the remnants. Crafty little ladies aren’t they.

So I’m going to do a rain dance – the Ladies won’t venture over there in the pouring rain. Batten down the hatches guys let the dance commence. ­čśë

 

Newbies in the midst

I had a message from a friend asking if we wanted some new chickens. Often people refer to chickens as male and female but I wanted to ensure straight away that I wasn’t after a rooster/cockerel.

How old are they? Why were they getting rid of them? These are the questions that went through my mind.

 

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They look as though they have healthy crops and their feathers look good.

They’re from a couple whose dogs I’ve walked a few times. They want them to go to a good home and knew we kept hens.

So why do they want to get rid of them? Basically they travel quite a bit and sorting hens and dogs out was proving quite tricky.

So I’ve said yes. Before they arrive I will have to pressure wash and disinfect our Ladies houses down, their perches and put new bedding in the nest box areas. I’ve had new hens joining the group before and found it’s actually easier to put the new hens in at night next to the existing ones on their perches. This way they all wake up together.

Years ago I used to separate them and put them in pens so they could all see each other and then after a few days I’d let them in together. Then a breeder suggested doing the other method I mentioned above – I’ve not reverted back since.

Our current Ladies have begun laying properly again so we’re getting about 4 or 5 eggs a day now. Even Marmalade, one of the older ones has! The two bantams haven’t started yet but I’m suspecting it’ll be February.

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I’ll be able to start selling eggs again.