Friday, 11 June 2010

Chicken whispering

Soon after we arrived we bought our first chickens. The plan was to buy some ex battery hens and keep the budget to a minimum.

That was the plan. In reality we bought our first hens, 3 beautiful Cream Legbars from a local breeder (well they do lay blue eggs and they're pretty fancy). We then fell in love with some Buff Orpington bantams at the Driffield Show, (I waited until we'd got home to tell BH that I'd bought the cock bird as well as the two hens). A trip to the Sledmere Game Fair led us to our Rhode Island Red and a Silver Pencilled Wyandotte. Result - the most expensive eggs in Yorkshire!

Since then our chucks have become not only part of the family but a bit of an obsession, particularly with BH, otherwise known as 'the chicken whisperer'

BH and Rocky have a special relationship. By special I mean that he can feed him by hand, he'll sit on his knee and even on his shoulder. As for the rest of us, we live in fear of the ginger terror as he regularly chases me around the garden - the rooster that is. He's even earned the nickname Nuggets from a friend of ours as I think that's what he'll be if he chases her again!

But where theres a Rooster, theres also chicks. Heres a pic of our first hatchling.

She's a couple of weeks old now. Were so proud!

We did manage to rescue some chicks from the school hatching program. Some turned out to be cockerels so they've been dispatched already but the hens are going strong. Weve named them 'The Four Marys' as they're very hard to tell apart. Here they are free ranging on the heap...

Our other chucks are named after the Mitford sisters, as I was reading a biography of them at the time and it seemed quite fitting for them being as they are a bunch of flighty, precious, occasionally vicious and often squabbling sisters. So we have Nancy, Diana, Pamela, Unity, Jessica and Deborah oh and Rhoda our rhode islander.

Here's Nancy getting her nose into the camera - total attention seeker that she is!

Our two Buffs worked in tandem to hatch the chick and Jessica was feeling so left out when Deborah became a mum that weve let her go broody on her own clutch. Shes due any day now, so I'll keep you posted...


  1. How wonderful.

    I dream of having my own chickens one-day, but am so happy to read about yours and of the special relationship. Blue eggs, fancy. Happy eating and 'chooking'.

  2. Thank you - I totally recommend chicken keeping. Once youve eaten a really fresh egg theres no going back! No news on our broody hen yet - fingers crossed we'll have some new tomorrow...

  3. Hello! My first visit to your blog and I'm enjoying it immensely.

    What a newsy entry. I'm looking forward to reading more poultry posts! (Couldn't find a label for 'chickens' so had to do a search on the blog.)

    I daren't have chickens in my gardens. The resident red-tailed hawks would soon get too fat to fly! LOL


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