Friday, 10 April 2009

The Girls First Free Ranging

It was a perfect day today and so we let the girls out of their run for the first time.
Curiousity ruled the day with Harriot immediately getting stuck between the run and the side of the house. She needed rescued and was not impressed with the great outdoors. She and Henrietta stonked back into the run and remained there after a quick doubtful peruse of just the immediate area. Harriot is the chicken top right photo. Repecka stayed out most of the morning and explored the whole garden, even digging up some small worms for herself. She's the black hen by the small water feature. We thought we would have a terrible time getting them back into their run, but we didn't. I guess there's no place like home! :-)

Tuesday, 7 April 2009

Is There Anything Better Than a Bath?

EVEN IF IT'S A DUST BATH? I put mite powder in a sand tray full of dirt and sand and plopped it in the run this afternoon. Repecka was in there like a rocket throwing dirt all over herself, and so it went with every hen according to the pecking order. Oh they were so pleased! There's not much dirt left in there, but I will fill it up again and let them have another go on the next sunny day. It is such an ordeal to get mite powder on the hens and this is an easy peasy way of doing it.
Repecka has laid her second egg this afternoon. It was just a tiny little thing of perfection like her last one. This time she went off to lay it while everyone cued up to have a bath (dust that is). She already had hers and so it was an ideal time. No screaming any announcements this time. Repecka just got on with it and came right back out and on with the day. I guess she WILL be giving us a tiny egg every day and still trying to grow to her full potential. Bless.
I am totally in love with these hens. They are charming in their own sweet way. They are unpretencious and silly and yet as centered and intelligent as any animal. I just can't wait to see what they do tomorrow!

Monday, 6 April 2009

Repecka Lays Her First Egg

Repecka has been really busy all day Sunday and this morning going from one hen house to the other into the nest boxes and back out again. This morning, she spent almost all morning intently doing this. She finally settled in one and I heard alot of shuffling about. An hour later I heard loud shrill clucking and crowing and I thought, "Oh no! It must be a fox or cat attacking the hens!". I bolted out to find her in the middle of the run with all the other hens around her, telling the world, and believe me, it was the WHOLE world that she had layed her first egg! She was excited as I was! We celebrated with a handful of cracked corn all the way around, and she finally quit screaming about what she did. It's a tiny egg, but perfectly formed, warm and clean as a whistle. Bless. She seems to be relieved that it all is over for now. She's gone back to dominating the other hens and stuffing herself stupid with the big head of broccoli that I have hanging in the run for them. I don't imagine we will get an egg a day, which is a good thing considering how she screams to tell the world! LOL!

Saturday, 4 April 2009

Our New Hens Are Here

We went to get our chickens on Saturday at The Hen House in Eye. So many kinds of chickens and so many choices! We came away with a Light Sussex, a Black Rock, a Cou Cou Maran, and a Calder Ranger. We named them Atilla the Hen (Tilly), HENrietta, Harriet, and RePECKa. The lady we bought them from was very impressed with our knowledge and was in awe of the box we brought with us to bring them home. We were so confident and excited. The hens didn’t make a peep all the way home. We put them straight into their house and closed the door. They did a lot of churring and looking out the window and pooing!
After two hours we let them out and it took them awhile to come down the ramp and explore. But once they started, they did all the things that happy chickens do. They scrabbed, sun bathed, ate themselves stupid, drank lots of water and ate grit. They were very quiet and then Repecka had a bit of a peck at the others. I think it is safe to say she is the Amazon of the lot.
We started to worry about them going back inside to bed when it turned 8:00. But then they started to churr at each other and then, one by one, off they went back into the hen house. They called for Tilly when she decided that she wasn’t ready to go to bed yet.
So now they are locked up securely in their house for the night and we are hoping they will remain safe through the night.