THE MARSHALL'S CHICKENS...
Well after reading another blog about Chickens (see my links)
We decided that it was most certainly acceptable to keep chickens as a hobby.
Despite one or two of our neighbours moaning behind our backs and behind closed doors we went ahead and welcomed into our garden four hens..
Harriet - Sapphire - Speckle - Amber
Sometimes you just have to accept that you can please some of the people some of the time and for the rest of it ... well, get a life...
GET A CHICKEN!!
Having now moved out into the countryside we have no neighbours so have 13 hens and 2 very nosey cockerals!!
HERE IS MY OWN DIARY OF A CHICKEN LOVER...
Firstly a huge " THANK YOU" to JUDE SCOTT at
COTWOLD CHICKENS - This lady was really helpful and gave us loads of time, useful and advice and support.
I would recommend going to visit JUDE AT COTSWOLD CHICKENS HAWTHORN STUD SOUTH NEWINGTON BANBURY
If you too like us feel the need to expand your knowledge and desire for the good life!
MEET THE MARSHALL HENS..
Monday, 29 September 2008
Now I will explain...
Speckle one of our first original chickens has taken it upon herself to escape into the front garden and wander around at will... we don't know how she is managing it and she appears to have no accomplice. But having witness the next paragraph with my own eyes you'll understand why I have had to apologise to my boys.
It was on returning home from school one afternoon last week that I noticed an egg on the driveway and then another on the grass just before the front doorstep.
I had given Harrison the keys for the front door so he could open up whilst I unloaded the shopping and Francesca in her car seat.
The boys went in ahead of me and then returned to help carry things in. It was a this point that I was convinced that for whatever reason the three of them had brought eggs out into the garden! How else had they got there?
On pleading innocence and asking how and why they would lay eggs on the driveway without breaking them I had to admit it didn't add up.
However I was still suspicious that maybe they were all in it together trying to make me feel slightly mad/confused!!
It was yesterday that all was revealed....
As I looked out of the window and observed Speckle wandering around the front garden all on her own after obviously escaping again, I witnessed her squat and lay an egg!
This was also being witnessed by our dog 'Tigger' who to my utter amazement went over to the warm and very fresh egg and promptly ate the whole thing - shell and all! If I hadn't of seen it with my own eyes then I would never of believed it...
Ten minutes later Speckle had laid another one and then returned to the back garden to her fellow hens.. how and where she does this we have yet to discover...
I did manage to get to the second egg before Tigger so she was not best pleased..
So that was the 'Mystery solved'.......
Its one of our Back Star's and strangely enough this is the third time she has become broody and a complete nightmare to the rest of the hens.
The first time it happened was just before I went into hospital to have our daughter in July. Spooky that she should be feeling the same. She would harass all the other hens straight after they had laid their eggs and if they didn't get out of the coup quite enough after laying she would actually sit on top of them!
This was when the trouble first started as several really didn't not appreciate it at all. Three of the girls started laying elsewhere in the garden which was a pain because you had to go and find them in the dense undergrowth of blackberry bushes!
The others would peck and chase her.
My husband was regularly pecked and loudly clucked at when he went to collect the eggs from underneath her and the children just refused because she would chase them!
The only way we have found to solve the problem is to isolate her from the others into another coup all on her own for three or four days. Then we have to watch the others when we reintroduce her as they don't always accept her readily.
She doesn't lay during this period just trys to be surrogate to the other hens eggs.
My husbands jokes her days are numbered unless she starts to produce again!!
Watch this space....
Wednesday, 3 September 2008
Monday, 1 September 2008
On the chicken front we are doing fine - One of our hens became broody when we acquired our Cockerel and slowly did the others! Combined with 4am Cock-a-doodle-dooing and hens that stopped laying a decision was made that although a beautiful addition to our flock he had to go...
Fear not he went to a loving home where he was allowed his wicked way with more hens that he could wish for.
It took approximately 4 weeks for the hens to get over their brooding to which there were several bitchy moments over sitting on someones else's eggs, but we have survived and all seems well in the coup.
We have invested in a new coup which looks great - they don't use it like they are supposed too and prefer to all cram together on one side but hey they have the choice. Two of them actually prefer to roost in the trees in the garden, we will have to see what the winter brings!
Twice in the last week we have had huge eggs - one weighed in at 114g our usual ones are between 58-64! Todays was 103g No wonder there was a lot of commotion. I complained giving birth to our daughter - 'once!' to have to do it again a couple of days later doesn't bear thinking about...
Brogan ate the other large one this morning - boiled with soldiers, to everyone's surprise it was a 'single yolker'
Monday, 7 April 2008
We have moved house and the lure of adding to our brood was too great, so as we now have plenty of room to extend our family we decided to pay Cotswold Chickens a visit...
'CHABEL THE GRAND COCKEREL!'
As we had come for hens we then moved on to choose what we had come for!
Then the second selection was made and we chose an Amber Lee which is supposed to be the updated version of our Amber Star..
Meet 'Snow-drop' She has a very long neck and an impressive covering of very white feathers.
The snow came the following day and it was very interesting to see the reaction of all the chickens.. our original hens are moulting so they all have bear bottoms! Not very nice when the snow is deep and your bum hangs low!!
OUR THREE NEW ARRIVALS.....
HARRIET AND AMBER TWO OF OUR ORIGINAL HENS IN THE SNOW
I will continue with this update later when my computer decides that it will cooperate!!
Friday, 4 January 2008
The boys missed collecting the eggs for breakfast and I actually missed the 7.50 awakening call!
Our neighbour willingly offered to look after the girls whilst we were away in exchange for the eggs!
They are all still laying a minimum of 4 eggs and a day and still occasionally 6 or 7.
All have their feathers but appear increasingly hungry, not happy to turn over the vast majority of our garden they regularly escape onto the patio and dig out my pots and what is supposed to be decorative stones...
Amber even comes up and taps on the patio door and will strut in pass the dogs and into the kitchen. She really is a trouble maker that one.
They enjoy their treat of sweetcorn and pasta and even like an apple now and then.
I brought some insulation for the shed roof because I was worried about the cold and once I had lined the roof with it, discovered that they obviously didn't like it because they would roost on in the usual roosting spot.. I think it was because reflective bubble wrap tin-foil stuff. I have since taken it down and all is back to normal - Roger did say I was worrying too much and that they always felt really warm where they all cuddle up together.
Well I have to finish sorting out the house and will try and get some pictures with my new camera... I'm still waiting for the snow they have promised!