Time to top up the hen flock today. If you can call two hens a flock. Primrose rarely lays now, and Camilla is on a slow moult so pas des oeufs for us at the mo. There was a poultry farm appearing at a local animal feed suppliers, doing a sort of roadshow with POL hens, bantams, ducks and quail. Seemed churlish not to pop along and see what was on offer.
And back we came with...
The white one is a favourite breed of my, the Light Sussex. She is called Nora. The grey one is a Bluebell and she is called Nancy. And the pretty girl up the front is a Rhode Rock and her name is Nellie. Nora, Nancy and Nellie. Because they are 'ens!
So, we topped up on layers' pellets and straw, and brought them home. Did a bit of wing clipping because Nellie immediately decided to show off her flying skills - well, her 'flinging herself across the grass at breakneck speed and achieving goodly height' skills. Released them into one side of the new hen coop, with Primrose and Camilla on t'other. There was a little bit of running at the dividing fence and fluffing themselves up to look as massive as possible, but after a while all seemed convivial on the intergration front.
Andy and I pottered around in the garden with them all for around 4 hours, chatting, offering titbits of grape, sunflower seed, apple. Getting the new 'ens used to us, you know. Primrose and Camilla marched around á deux, gossiping crossly to each other and mostly studiously ignoring Nora, Nellie and Nancy, but occasionally rushing at them.
And then we opened the gate between them, and circuitous chicken behaviour ensued. Bit of eating, bit of drinking, bit of preening, bit of roosting. Snoozing. Clucking. Scratching. Digging. Rolling around on the grass. All done with one eye on all the others. Some sort of order appears to be occurring. Primrose at the top, of course, then Camilla and Nora tussling for second-in-command. Nellie in fourth and at the bottom, poor Nancy who, I have to say, has done nothing to offend any of them other than mind her own business.
So eventually we decided to leave them to it and went indoors. Fifteen minutes later, I took a stroll back, just to make sure they weren't just waiting for us to leave before sticking then chicken boot in and there, in the middle of the run, was this...
A little egg! All warm, 42g of it! I reckon it belongs to Nancy. Her comb and wattles are more advanced than the others, plus she was being a bit restless, in hindsight probably looking for a nesting place.
Rantings, ravings, observations and musings, useful stuff, silly stuff, funny, sad and thoughtful guff!