Hen shopping

Having hens sure is handy when you’ve a custard to whip up! At the weekend I needed half a dozen and it was wonderful just being able to pop down the garden to top up those already in the tray on the worktop and collect some still-warm beauties instead of scrambling to the shops. Though I have to say that young, productive laying hens are rather thin on the ground these days. After an initial late-springtime flush, the nesting boxes are looking a little bare lately. And some of the offerings are unsaleable such as the ‘jelly eggs’ as we call the ones in the sack but no hard shell, and then there are others with very textured almost scratched-looking shells which aren’t very appetising. Obviously none of this goes to waste as our three dogs are more than happy to have an egg in their breakfast or dinner.

Our Rhode Island Red (foreground) is a spring chicken at three years old, compared with our Pied Suffolk, who must be pushing six
Our Rhode Island Red (foreground) is a spring chicken at three years old, compared with our Pied Suffolk, who must be pushing six

Many of our girls are in retirement now – half the flock must be around five or six – and so we’re going to pick up some brown hybrid hens at the weekend to help on the egg-production front. James is concerned he won’t be able to meet his mother’s weekly order for much longer otherwise. This time, we’ll ring their feet in a particular colour and make a note of the date so we’ll know exactly how old they are in future. Looking forward to hen shopping! Is anyone else stocking up, as it were, at the moment?

Poultry pensioners
Our beloved poultry pensioners

One thought on “Hen shopping

  1. Three of our hens have died since Easter, so we have just three remaining. One seems to lay most days; one not at all; and one has been laying what we call rubber eggs, which cannot be used. I’d like to hear how you integrate your new hens (last time we did this, we had 10 days of quite unpleasant bickering and nastiness from the hens already in residence). We don’t have the space to keep them separate. Any tips would be most welcome, as I’d love to introduce a couple of pullets.

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