Sunday, 24 June 2012

Chicken Diary Pt II. Meet the girls.

But first, meet Cocky, the leader of the gang.
A gentle and attentive cockerel.
Peace and harmony has broken out under his reign.

Sunday 24th June 2012

The most exciting thing about today's sunrise was the three hares out on the path through the meadow. Unfortunately it was so dull that I took the photo of them on 1/4 second exposure. Good job they stayed quite still.

In the first Chicken Diary I talked about how some of the chickens had names and some didn't. But they all need names if I am to keep careful track of who is laying eggs.

So here's an introduction to my laying hens. There are eight of them in all, though that should increase soon.

Chick of Elvis.
The egg that Elvis hatched out in the early days.
Seems as if the broody characteristic
has been learned from mum!

The same breed as Cocky.
Independent, often roosts on her own.
Just coming back into lay.

Yesterday Chick of Elvis was very clucky and paid a lot of attention to the six eggs she is still sitting on. This morning Sue found a fully developed, but dead, chick curled up in half a shell. Our guess is that if any more eggs hatch Chick of Elvis will see them as a threat. So we'll be happy just to watch these two fluffy little bundles grow up.

Feathers in a right mess. Seemingly in complete moult.
But has started laying again.
The imaginatively named Mrs Brown.
A very friendly lady. Has been moulting front to back. Back in lay.
Used to be our friendliest chicken but has become more independent with age.
Has almost completed her moult and, I think, just started to lay again.
Medium, dark, speckled eggs.
Our Silkie. Always going broody.
Guards eggs bravely. Possesses a sharp peck.
Very friendly when not sitting on eggs.
Only just named, for the benefit of the chicken diary.
Recently sat on eggs for a while, but kept stealing the other eggs.
All failed when I tried to move her.
Waiting to come back into lay again.

Another girl with a new name.
And this one's in a right mess. Hardly any feathers!
But just starting to grow some decent feathers back in,
so hopefully will start laying again soon.

The Teenagers.
Fate unknown.
The female Indian Game is guaranteed a long life of laying eggs.
Some of her eggs will be reared as meat birds (Don't tell her).
So friendly, she jumped on my back yesterday then sat on my shoulder!
Will get a name when she starts laying eggs.

The male may well be used to breed with any females we get from the next batch.
That way we can produce our own Indian game birds.

As for the two Cream Legbar cockerels. Well...only one of them has much of a future. The other will hopefully taste very nice. Real characters, so choosing will be difficult. Whoever lives will enjoy a future as a breeding cockerel so we can produce more chickens to lay blue eggs.

And finally...

Who laid this? The world's longest chicken egg. This is the sort of freak egg that comes out of chickens as they come back into lay.

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