Well another interesting year with the chickens. Last year we had only five chicks and they all turned out to be cockrels! This year is not turning out to be very much better. We have had four batches of eggs with a broody hen on each. The first one – Madame la Pomme just hatched one chick – Puffin.
The second hen – Cornflake – hatched one chick and then proceeded to trample all over it. Georgina rescued the poor little thing and hand fed it for a few hours and then gave it back to its Mother – who proceeded to trample all over it again. In desperation we popped it under the wing of our third hen – Mrs Noah who was sitting and she – although somewhat surprised by having a chick appear so quickly when she had only been sitting a few days began to look after it. The inevitable happened of course – having got a chick she waited for a couple of days and as none of the others hatched she got off them and let them go cold. Still a bird in the hand is worth two in the egg we say! This one is called Shirley.
Lastly we had Precious who was sitting on six eggs. I was so hopeful and watched her everyday – taking her off the eggs for 10 minutes and letting her wander around. Finally the day came and the eggs started to hatch. On the Saturday morning she had four chicks with one egg still cracking – I didn’t know where the other egg had gone.
We had a food smoking course that day so I was busy and didnt tell George as it was going to be a surprise. Finally we would have a hen with a ‘string’ of little chicks running behind her. But Oh, when I went to see her at the end of the day three of the chicks had died and the fourth was about to die. Only one remained – Lucky! I was devestated and took the little chicks and buried htem in out ‘Pet garden’. Lucky has been renamed Tatoe – due to her love of potatoes!
So this year we have three hens all with one chick each! However I am pretty sure now that Puffin is a hen and I am so hoping that the other two will turn out to be hens as well.
Madame La Pomme has abandoned Puffin and has gone broody again so I have been to a friends and got six eggs from her hen house. She has Black Rocks, Wyndots and Light Sussex. Four of the eggs are a beautiful dark chocolate colour.
As always I have my fingers crossed. Will keep you posted.
Andy of course it terribly proud of them all!