Thursday, 30 April 2009

Three French Hens

Yes more additions to our family, 3 chickens – and as Rowan pointed out “three French hens”. They joined us on Monday after Ben had finished swearing as he finished their fortress (hopefully to be safe from foxes). Now they’re not the prettiest of girls, being a breed called “Cou Nu jaune” that have bald necks (weird) but they were all that the lady had available until September. Looks aren’t everything so long as they do their jobs we reckoned. They seem to be settling quite well despite being haranged by Rowan and Brodie and have today started clucking in a happy sort of way when we go near their pen. Next week we hope to let them go free-range – well actually not quite free-range for a few weeks cos I want them to be hen tractors on the veg patch eating all the weed seeds and undesirables. That still represents a massive 240m2 so I hope they’re up for it. We hope to have some eggs from them too in about a month’s time J I’m quite glad to have a few more females on the premises actually and fear that I may well being having womanly heart-to-hearts with them before long.

Update – just been out to close up the hen house for the night (I’m on my own as Ben has gone over to Dover to get the Bongo MOT’d – another story). Now, we’ve been told that they toddle off to bed in their house at twilight and you just pop round and make them safe for the night. Ho no – not ours. They’d squeezed themselves like plaster on the outside of the door of the hen house so I couldn’t open it to ‘encourage’ them with a full door for access (they have a little pop hole that they’ve been ‘popping’ in and out of all day but couldn’t oblige me by using it tonight – bl**dy things). I tried to ‘shoo’ them but they weren’t having it and just clucked at me. So I thought, I’ll just have to lift them in. I’m not normally worried about handling wild animals/birds etc but Jaune, as one of them is called, decided to protect her friend Cou by having a wee peck at me. That made me a bit timorous. I therefore had to steel myself and go about lifting them to their perch through the half-dark and chicken poo whilst battling with the bulge that is Sammy strapped on constantly in a sling. I say again, bl**dy things – they’d better start laying.

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