Yup, that’s right we own chickens, 21 of them in fact! Now we had planned on getting some (as in about 8) chickens down the allotment at some point this year but little did we know that it would end up being quite so many and happen so early on!
So how did we happen to end up with a fully established flock of 20 hens and a cockerel? You may remember from my November update that I mentioned the gentleman who had chickens at the bottom of our field (its not actually ‘our field’ of course it’s just easier to call it that!). Unfortunately, due to health problems, he is unable to get up here to care for them any more and so last week we were asked if we wanted to buy them.
I must admit that we were hesitant at the asking price to begin with, but the fact that there is a well build 12′ x 8′ shed, plus a smaller shed, plus a small broody coop, in a fenced in enclosure. Along with enough feed and bedding for two weeks, a random assortment of chickeny paraphernalia and tools, we were actually getting a good deal, without having to lift a finger!
This does now mean that I have to go there at least twice a day, come rain or shine. And of course, due to Storm Jonas, it has mostly rained, meaning I have been soaked to the bone, at least once, almost every day this week. I’m not normally one for selfies but I wanted to capture the joy on my face after being blown down a field carrying a 20 kg bag of feed on my hip and sliding flat on my backside, getting covered in mud in the process. Believe it or not there is actually a mountain behind me, it’s just hiding behind the rain clouds!
But the fun of chickens really does outweigh the downsides. I’d forgotten how relaxing it is watching them scrabbling for bits of scattered seed and picking up on their little personality traits. You see we have had chickens in the past, even hatched our own eggs and raised the chicks in the house. I can’t wait to hopefully get chicks again, but maybe not quite yet!
At the moment we are getting between 8 and 14 eggs a day and this number will only increase as the days get longer and warmer. There is a nice variety of shell colours from pale pink right through to green ones. Luckily, the toddler loves eggs so he is quite happy munching his way through them. I have plans to pickle some, make meringues and attempt to make gluten free pasta and mayonnaise, neither which I have ever tried before.
I will admit that I am failing miserably getting many decent images of them. You think trying to get kids to all look at the camera is hard, trying to get a chicken or two to stay still long enough for a photo is nigh on impossible!
Do you own chickens? I’d love to hear your stories.