The fact that James and I ended up on a veritable poultry shopping spree the other day – and ended up acquiring not one but five Araucanas to add to our growing flock – has almost overshadowed the nature of our original mission: to find a new mate (above) for our beloved hen Audrey (below).
Chicken introductions are always a little risky and at the weekends we questioned whether a companion was necessary – Audrey seemed perfectly happy hanging out with our three dogs and cat in the side garden where they all lounged in the sunshine and drank from the same water bowl. But then during the week, she was a lone ranger, having always resided in the coop by our house, away from the more serious layers down the end of the plot. So, there was nothing for it but to seek out a friend and, mission accomplished (see The great Araucana acquisition), we slipped the 15-month-old cuckoo lavender Araucana into Audrey’s henhouse at night and hoped for the best. Due to her tallness, our love of the BBC’s The Good Life series’ character played by the marvellous Penelope Keith, and the need to call chickens old-school-WI-appropriate names, we named the new girl Margot. I woke early the next morning, anxious that there’d be a ruckus as Audrey emerged to find an invader in her midst. Instead, our two mature ladies were having a dustbath together in the undercover run (below) as if they were old friends catching up on news in a spa.
It was love at first light! Now they scratch around together, eat together and even lay together, it seems. Similarly harmonious is the bromance between James and the little lavender lad continues – he was even brought into the kitchen for a cuddle the other day (below). If James disappears for any length of time, I know where he’ll be: in the coop bonding with the little guy sat on his lap!
Elsewhere, our four handsome Ixworth cockerels are getting on nicely, though once the hormones kick in there might be some interesting power struggles going on in that pen. The layers and the five incomers (our two Ixworths pullets and three new black Araucanas) are finally beginning to be accepted by the hybrids. Our new girls have already started laying beautiful pale-green- and blue-shelled beauties, which is a real treat – and means they’ll have paid for themselves in eggs soon. So all’s good on the poultry front this week!
My Tweets this week: