Hens 2012

Happenings January
January sees the addition of 2 purebred Silver Laced Wyandottes to the hen pen. They are very pretty girls and aged about 8 weeks. I have put them in the bnf which is in the old vege area. This will keep them separate from the other girls while they take their time getting used to each other. Below is a pic of them on trademe which is where I bought them from and one of them in their new digs.

During 2011 I had decided to put the girls back into the vege area and have that as the new hen pen because the orchard was just too wet during winter. So I built them a new house that would be permanently sited. Upon completion the new house, christened 'la grange de poulet' - or not so fancy 'chicken barn', was approved by the girls who moved straight in without so much as a second glance back to the bnf. This was much roomier and had indoor perch areas as well as a separate nesting box. Much better thank you!

Happenings February
The new girls have names. Cagney and Lacey, from the tv show and because they have pretty lacey feathers. They are more skittery than the other girls were when I bought them home but they will get better with time. They are very talkative birds and have quite gravely voices, a bit like bonny tyler ;) The older girls are still very nosey and I know Henrietta would love to get in there, she tries to push her beak through the chicken mesh. Just a little nibble!

Happenings June
Well midway through the year and there is another move happening (talk about womens perogative), should have put the new house on wheels too. The girls are going back to the orchard. LOL! Bloke very pleased, not! The digger had to move the big house while I could easily drag the bnf. Once there I set about paving below both houses with bricks to make a solid base. This will be good over winter to stop the mud from being a problem. In the area between the gate and the houses I have laid bark so I don't have to stand on any mud at all, much more pleasant.

The laceys are growing fast. They have finally got tails now instead of the little tuffs they had before :) so they are starting to look like real hens. They are getting used to all sorts of food being popped in their house though they really couldn't make out the fresh corn! The other girls had no such problem.

Meanwhile, the girls are still working for their keep, under a wisteria ;)

A sad end to this year.
While we were away on holiday Harriet had to go to the vet. She had been sitting around for a few days and was off her food. The vet thought she had an egg problem that had turned nasty, we will won't go into any further description. There was nothing that the vet could do for her so she was put to sleep.

Not long after we got back home Henrietta got sick. She was also sitting down during the day and had no interest in food or anything else. I took her to the vet. He did not know what the problem was as everything he tested for was ok so he gave her a long-acting antibiotic and wormed her. She perked up for a couple of days, the next morning went outside, sat down and passed away. Very very sad time at the paddock. I miss them very much as they all have such great personalities.

I was really worried about Hilda although the vet did say he didn't think there was anything contagious at all. Still I kept a close eye on her. A few weeks later Hilda looks her normal self so I thought I would go and get another brown shaver (from a different supplier) so she had company in her pen. There was a lady not far from us who had some gorgeous girls for sale. They had all the vaccinations etc so I bought one home. A little 7 week old we have named Lou Lou. She is a treasure and after a couple of weeks I put her in with Hilda who gave her a few light pecks just so she knew who was boss and they were fine.

I have a personal theory about the genetic makeup of the first girls I bought. I have decided not to buy any more hens bred for commercial purpose or described as 'egg machines'.