Well, they were well worth waiting for. James discovered a clutch of five freshly laid beauties last week – but not in the place he expected to find them. Rather than in their own coop, our new cheeky brown birds had laid them on the floor of the henhouse belonging to our Araucanas Audrey and Margot. What these two lovely old girls made of it, I can’t imagine, especially as they don’t produce their own eggs between September and February. Most irregular. We didn’t spend too long wondering why the precious deliveries ended up where they did – instead, we made two divine omelettes for supper to celebrate.
Boy, they were good. Since then, there’s been a steady supply of, on average, three a day. In order to keep the peace, James has relocated the new miniature flock to their own quarters – a dog kennel we converted into a chicken coop years ago with its own undercover and open runs.
This way the rookies can lay only in their own house and, meanwhile, our older girls and Jeffrey, the Araucana cockerel, are enjoying the Henmobile and free-ranging around the garden.
However, the young ones are still insisting on sleeping in the nesting box (and, naturally, leave a whole load of droppings in it) while, roughly, a third of eggs are laid while the girls perch, so end up smashed on the floor. They’ve also attempted to break into next door’s garden by scaling the hurdle fence between us – despite their wings being clipped! This has come at a time when we are attempting to simplify many aspects of our lives, which includes installing automatic pop-hole openers so our various flocks rise with the sun and don’t wait for us to let them out and they are shut up at dusk if we are out. Perhaps buying these chickens from a big farm rather than our usual supplier was a false economy – as we had to wait several weeks for them to come up with the goods and many are damaged before we collect them, plus there’s the extra cleaning out to do. Their eggs, however, are so good that we are inclined to overlook their shortcomings and be consoled by those rich-orange yolks.
Happy henkeeping all.