I'll start with some very sad news. For within the last six weeks we have lost two of our original hens. Still, compared to farmed hens, they had a good innings. Honey and Hazel both succumbed to old age. I have learned not to get upset when a chicken dies, but that doesn't mean it's not a sad moment. And more especially since these were two of the originals.
In her younger days
During last year's moult, feathers in a right mess.
They are a bit bigger now than in these photos and have grown into quite an audacious little bunch.
But then yesterday, as this post was in its preparation, I just happened to noticed that they now number just six. I don't know how, but at some point between Saturday late afternoon and Sunday afternoon one of Elvis's chicks has had one adventure too many.
As I write this, there is a pile of feathers outside the back door. But its nothing to do with that missing chick. For some of Elvis's previous offspring met their maker too yesterday. The two Cocky lookalikes had grown old enough to challenge Spike, but not skilful enough to defend themselves very well. And the two cockerels from the next hatch, so several months younger and not really big enough for the pot, had grown up into very problematic teenagers, challenging the older males and constantly harassing the ladies. They all had to go.
So, the chickens must have wondered why they were being kept in a little later than usual on Easter Sunday. It was tricky enough catching them when they were confined to their houses, let alone if I'd had to chase them down first. While they were crowing inside their houses, the pot was put on to boil, the table top and broomstick were readied.
|This teenager has been |
strutting his stuff
just a bit too much
|The two aggressive teenagers |
when they were little
|Well and truly plucked!|
After a night hanging in the stables, Sue was up at the crack of dawn. (ed - just read this back and realised I need to point out it was the chickens hanging in the stables overnight, not Sue!) There wasn't a lot of meat on these boys, but they won't go to waste.
So that's the end of my Easter story. Enjoy the Easter eggs!