Compassion in World Farming

Wednesday, 17 June 2009

Possibly the smallest hen's egg ever...

This evening middle son collected the tiniest hen's egg I have ever seen!

It was soooo cute! I've photographed it in between a 2p piece & a normal sized hen's egg so you can get an idea of just how little it was. I'm guessing it's one of our pullet's first attempts.

The pullets have all been enjoying free-ranging with the bigger hens since we released them into the flock. They were excepted into the ranks without any bother, much to my relief. They have remained extremely friendly, in fact they can be down right kamikaze at times as they run right under your feet when you're carrying heavy feed or water buckets! It was brought to our attention recently that they may not all be pullets as we'd assumed.... they weren't sexed so some may be cockerels. Which, since the sad demise of our bantam rooster, is not necessarily a problem, but I'm watching them closely trying to fathom out which are definitely hens & which may not be. Some of them do seem to be darker coloured, with a more upright gait & with longer, kind of straggly tail feathers. I have no idea how you are supposed to tell for sure, until they find a voice that is - then we'd know! They are very approximately 17 weeks or so old so maybe it should be more obvious by now if any were cockerels? I'm paying close attention as I want to make sure that if it proves necessary we have the correct ratio of hens to cockerels to preempt any fighting. I'm not 100% sure what that ratio should be, but from advice that's been given to me about 5 hens per cockerel seems to be the suggested number. If anyone could help me out with this I'd be ever so grateful.

We now have 20 chickens in total, as shortly after Rodney passed away our oldest hen Belter also died. At first I was really anxious in case something more sinister was going on here. But both had shown no sign of illness e.g. pale comb, nasal discharge, etc. & had just simply slowed down & then gone to sleep. I always use Poultry Shield once a week in 'Chateau Des Oeufs' so I was as sure as I could be that red mite was not to blame here. The rest of the flock all look vigorous thankfully, so I'm now assuming it was coincidence that they both come to the end so close together. Or perhaps she pined? Is that too fanciful a thought?

Anyway, on a more pleasurable note, I started off some Elderflower Champagne using Holly the Land Girl's recipe from Newhouse Farm.

The elder flowers infuse in a mixture of sugar, vinegar, lemon & water

I'll let you know how it turns out!

1 comment:

  1. nice have some lovely poultry!
    makes mine look a little scruffy!