Saturday, January 19, 2013

Thinking about chickens Part three!

 Part three- still thinking about whether to replace my chickens or not. So on with the story-

It didn't take me long to miss my chickens and so once more I was on the hunt for hybrids again. We wanted friendly non digging chickens (my pure breeds weren't very keen on being handled despite our best efforts). On researching the different sorts I decided an Amber Star would be a good choice, a Rhode Island cross and we went for a  Sussex Reverse ( no particular reason other than my son took a liking to her!) .
we've just arrived

Lots to find

Mabel the Amber star ( creamy white) was delight and very calm and loved attention and company . She was easy to handle and would have come and watched Tv with us if she could!.


 Edna, the Reverse Sussex( like a Light Sussex but black with white markings and smaller) was always a little flighty and seemed to be the bad tempered menopausal chicken. She hated being handled. However she was the chicken who told us when an egg was being laid- even if it wasn't herself! She was very noisy and I think she may have thought she was a cockerel at times! She took a distinct dislike to Mr H and would shout at him if he came anywhere with a rake or other garden implement-


 quite unlike Isla Mai  the Rhode island cross who would have had a ride on the lawnmower if it had been allowed!
waiting for treats
Isla Mai  ( red and very much like a Rhode Island Red but again smaller) was a lovely happy chicken who enjoyed human company and allowed us to carry her around.

Salad for lunch

We were very sad when we she went on to chicken heaven and she was then followed by Mabel which left us with Edna. Edna seemed to miss the others- especially as she became more and more  bad tempered. We thought the kindest thing for her was to find a loving home for her with lots of chicken company and so off she went too.
Ooooh are we being photographed?
We now have an empty coop and run and have had  for some months now- and I have been thinking of what to do- I think the ground where the Eglu was needs a little bit of a rest. We are thinking of building a couple of raised beds to grow some salad stuff and things like mange tout, courgettes spinach for starters.

Whats this white stuff?
So what to do with the Eglu? I have thought about selling it- and  probably would get about £200  - I'm not sure if thats an over estimate or not ! But on checking the prices of a new one - I'm feel it would be a shame to sell and then have to start all over again - I know it was a lot for us to have had to find when we first purchased everything and I know we would find  it hard to warrant spending that sort of money at the moment. So thats where we are at- I think we will be keeping everything- I'll just have to squirrel everything away in corners of the garden. 

In the mean time I have started to think about bantams- and even Mr H says he would be amenable- any one have any experience?


Anonymous said...

Hi there! I have pekin bantams and adore them!! I even hatched last year...which was an adventure!! They are small hens with big characters and the eggs are yummy. Great in the garden as with featherd feet thhey don't churn it up much!! They do go broody though and also need to be kept dry in the wet because of their feathered feet. Mine are in a cube with 3metre run and I've filled the run with wood chip. They do free range weather permiting. I'd say go for it, you have all the equipment! You will be spoilt for choice there are so many bantam breeds to choose from!!!!! :-) I use the omlet forum for fun! Keep as posted!

Mrs H said...

Hi thank you for your reply- how many bantams do you keep? We really are tempted by bantams -I have had a little look already ! and what breeds do you have?

Anonymous said...

Mrs H, I have 8 pekin bantams only at the moment. But I am hopping to add some bantam araucanas later on in the year (they lay blue eggs!!) If you have had pure breeds before, you'll most likely find a bantam variety of the breed!! This winter has been hard, but with spring on it's way it's a good time to be thinking about chickens.......and those freshly laid yummy eggs!! :-)

Wendy said...

Hello - I've just enjoyed reading your post about your chickens and their individual characters. I'm afraid I don't know anything about bantams; we've just increased our small flock (which was down to two) with three young hybrids. They've just started to reveal their characters, too.

Thomasina Tittlemouse said...

Have been reading your chicken posts with much interest. We have 9 bantams - Belgian Millefleurs Barbu d'Uccles to be precise! And they are great. - no excessive digging but like to be as free range as possible. They have the run of the garden during the day normally and go into their "chicken palace" to sleep safely locked away from foxes! The only real problems we've had has been in introducing new chickens into the existing flock. Not a good idea - results in months of bullying and uncooperative behaviour in the newbies who understandably are more reluctant to go in with the bullies at night. Having said that our nine (5 older ones and 4 newer ones) have now got over their internecine strife and are every much one flock. They are very characterful and full of personality - I never thought I could get so fond of chickens! The eggs are smaller than normal hens' eggs but absolutely gorgeous to eat and cook with. They are gumpy this week because they really do not like snow and so have been cooped up much to their disgruntlement. Was going to try and encourage them out this morning but against all weather predictions it's snowing big fat flakes all ore the place! Happy Chicken Hunting! E x

Mrs H said...

Hi Wendy - its alway very exciting when you get new chickens- I love finding out about their personalities and and where they sit in the pecking order! What varietiesof hybrids do you get/have ?

Mrs H said...

Hi Mrs T - what a fantastic named breed of bantams! i shall have to look those up - did you get them locally or did you have to travel far for them? Mr H is away at the moment but I feel there could be some persuading going on when he returns!

Thomasina Tittlemouse said...

We got ours from a breeder near Salisbury - about an hour from where I am in South Oxfordshire. I can let you have more specific details if you're interested. Finally managed to persuade the girls out this afternoon but they didn't like it! Thank you so much for offering to post the blackberry gin recipe in a coming post. Your father's version looks gorgeous I must say. Apologies for so many typos in my earlier comment -trying to type in poor light is not a very good idea! E x