Monday, 9 November 2009
This week saw additions to my flock of hens. Well if the three remaining hens I had constitute a "flock"? Three new hens arrived from a local breeder. They are "Light Sussex" (the large variety not bantams). They are very pretty, young and just on the point of lay. I also got a cockerel, having said "never again" only a few months ago. But I found even the regular brown hens going "broody" and sitting on clutches of eggs this summer so thought we all might as well get something out of their efforts! Hopefully in the summer there will be some chicks running around again - but I may need to rig up a pen till the chicks get bigger as I fear for their lives with Button on the loose. However she has the sense to be very wary of the hens anyway, and in the past I found hens to be very protective of chicks so fingers crossed.
The cockeral is quite a handsome chap but I have yet to hear him crow. He went AWOL the first day I let all the hens out together. I think perhaps he'd been hen-pecked by the old hens and the new ones and did the chicken equivalent of going and sleeping in the spare room for a day or two! However clearly the testerostone has kicked in and I saw him trying vainly to get old and new groups of hens together. I have no doubt he will succeed - I think he's the George Clooney of the feathered world..... Hmmm think I've just found a name for him.... Gorgeous George!
And the new girls have wasted no time and are settling in to laying eggs - but I think maybe only one of them is producing at the moment. However nest boxes have been inspected and will hopefully be found "acceptable"!
The hens can be completely free range as there are no foxes on the island. I do tend to shut them in at night and drop the "escape hatch" to reduce draughts, and also to encourage the girls to lay in the henny hoose rather than on the top of the hay bales in the barn! So far the new hens haven't ventured far from the corner of the hen house but I'm sure they will soon be following Georgous George and the other hens and exploring the beach, fields and garden, not to mention playing "chicken" by sitting on the corner of the road just below the house.Fortunately there isn't *that* much traffic about, but when it's the ferry run the road can get a bit busy..... sigh.