New chickens

We made the usual trek to Leatherhead on Monday to buy yet another (insert collective noun*) of chickens. I like their set up and their prices. It’s run by a couple whose hobby just got out of control. They have mostly hybrids (that lay all year round) and a few pure breeds (stop laying in September and don’t start again till April). Hybrids are typically half the price of pure breeds, but the pure breeds can look more interesting. We bought 4 hybrids and one pure breed that allegedly will lay blue eggs. They are called Point of Lay (PoL), but my experience is that most birds you get are a couple of weeks off laying their first egg.

The children were also interested in ducks and geese. They are kind of cute, but let’s see how our revamped security works. As the breeders said, “Mr Fox likes chicken, but he loves duck”.

Introducing hens to their new home is always a mixture of joy and a pain. It’s great to see them explore new surroundings and to see them reduce the ground to earth within a few days. The pain is teaching them to put themselves to bed. Chickens are the special needs pupils of the animal kingdom. They learn very slowly indeed. We are using the Ark chicken house currently; this has a ramp up to their sleeping quarters. For the past three nights, Tilly has been walking each of them up the ramp in the hope that they will learn to do this themselves. It’s an unpleasant duty as she is lying down in chicken poo while teaching them. In the morning, you lower the ramp and have to teach them to walk out into the open air.

*A BROOD, CLUTCH, FLOCK, RUN or PEEP of chicken

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2 responses to this post.

  1. Posted by Sarah Maguire on September 3, 2010 at 10:59 am

    Chickens have to be taught to go in and out of their sleeping quarters? This sheds a whole new light on the subject of grannies and eggs.

    Reply

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