horns of wilmington's cow

By anth


Two new chooks joined the mini-flock tonight. I'll get a proper photo at the weekend, by which time they may even have names. There's this young lady, a 'Nero' (or Black Rock, though apparently there are very few 'pure' Black Rocks about), who seems to like a bit of a whinge and could shape up to be a handful; and a Bluebelle, or Mendlesham Blue. We've already got one of the blues, feisty Skye, who has survived a fox attack, but she's 3 and a half now and so the new girls are future planning. Easier to introduce two to two, rather than after Skye departs her earthly coop leaving wee Holly on her own.

These are chooks 7 and 8 for us. Holly was the most recent before these, along with Roxy, who was a lovely Light Sussex, but sadly suffered a prolapse when laying when she was only about 6 months old, possibly younger, and the vet could do nothing. Skye had arrived with another Nero/Black Rock, Ruby, who was a lovely wee character and would follow you round the garden if you were armed with a spade or fork. Unlike Skye, though, she was always a little flaky health wise and didn't last long after Holly and Roxy arrived.

We started aaaaaages ago with Miss Hennypenny and Margot, who made us realise just how different chooks can be in personality from each other, and how bloody awful it is that chickens can be caged up for the entirety of their life (you can see the size of the rear part of our run, in comparison to the size of a battery cage, and my thoughts on the whole debacle in this blip).

Anyway, we've probably only bought a dozen or so eggs in the last few years, and it's still a pleasure to check the coop for them and know that we've always got some quality eggs pretty much on tap.

The new girls will stay in the rear part of the run for the time being, separated by temporary mesh from the front part where Skye and Holly tend to roost at night (the front part was only built because, when we got Skye and Ruby, the original chooks were not impressed at sharing their space). Over time they'll be let out to scrabble about together, and the pecking order will be established (presumably with Skye still at the top), and in even more time we can take down the dividing mesh and (fingers crossed) there'll be happy families. There's science to this y'know.

Hoping there's no noise in the morning before I go to work, and Mel is off on Fridays, so will be able to chicken-sit.

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