Sunday, 28 June 2009

the girls

this is a post especially for all my friends and family who helped make it possible for me to finally own some chickens. they have been a little late coming, 1 year to be precise but instead of living in an eglu (which was the original plan) they live in the custom built luxury that is "cluckingham palace".

we were very keen to rescue some hens and have ex-bats, so we got in touch with the battery hen welfare trust which is all run by volunteers who do amazing work.

but it was not meant to be! in this part of the country there are not many regular rescues, as most farms are free range, and also i am pleased to say that there was quite a long waiting list.

so we packed the car with cardboard boxes and headed to a reputable chicken dealer who had been recommended to us by a fellow chicken keeping friend. we bought home 4 girls.

adriana - a leghorn
the chicken man told us that the white leghorns are prolific layers, but that they are very skittish and aren't great company. adriana does lay a beautiful white egg every day, but on top of it she is one of the tamest. she is currently vying for top bird position and has become a little bit of a bully.

ginny & janice - speckled marans
these girls have yet to lay. they are currently around 20 weeks old and should start laying dark red rusty colour eggs soon, we hope! ginny is slightly lighter and has feathers all down to her claws,very sweet, she is also quite plump. janice is quite dark and very bossy. they tend to hang out together and like to have dust baths in the afternoons.

carmela - a sussex rock
we were told that this girl will make a good pet and lay around 300 eggs per year. currently this is true on both counts. her eggs are speckled and normal egg shell colour. she is currently at the bottom of the pecking order.

the pecking order has not yet been fully established and carmela has been having a bit of a rough time, receiving some very serious pecks and feather loss. she was looking a little sorry and the other day we noticed an open wound on her back. after much research and advice hunting i decided to concoct my own chicken healing ointment and then paint her feathers with anti-nail biting lotion. i am very pleased with the results so far. she seems much happier and the other girls are leaving her alone a bit more.

recipe for aromatherapy chicken balm.
3tbs vaseline
1tbs cocoa butter
12 drops of tea tree essential oil
16 drops of lavender essential oil

melt the vaseline and cocoa butter together in a pan, remove from heat, stir in the essential oils and leave to set in the fridge. for easiest application use at room temperature

we have also been keeping them busy by hanging up cabbages and cauliflowers just out of reach. it is great fun watching them jump for it, or climbing up on the logs and trying to balance to get a good peck. it keeps them very fit. we have also just started letting the out in the garden. they love exploring and having a good scratch about, except my vegetable patch is off limits as much as i can help it.

we have all got chicken fever, the good kind,and francisco is loving his new pets. this drawing of adriana is one of my favourites.

we are all also loving the fresh eggs. this is the very first egg that was laid at the palace.

thank you all once again, and keep looking here if you want regular updates on the girls.

ambika x


LuP said...

Thanks for the update. Frank is a genius, his drawing is brilliant. Lots of love from Leicester, Lu & Chris xxxx

snow white said...

A big welcome to the girls, hope they settle in soon
Sarada xxxxx