Wednesday, 3 February 2016

Who's going first?

Contemplating the great outdoors;

A new flock of 30 layers, not quite 20 weeks old.

Their juveniles' paler and smaller combs will enlarge and redden, as they come into egg production in the next few weeks.

These ladies have just arrived from the breeder in mid Devon, they are bred specifically to perform well in an outdoor organic system, which they will enjoy, once they've steeled their nerve to go outside, well you never know, just who might be lurking?

There was a lot of noisy "No no; after you" going on here; but in the end the verdant herbage just visible, combined with a bit of chivvying on the part of their new owner resulted in a mass egress to pastures fresh and vistas wider.

The hens here do a brilliant job of clearing all the grass, and weed, and old crop cover, from the area upon which they're enclosed.

The older flock have just about finished clearing the patch where this years beans and peas will be planted; so are due to be moved with their house onto a new area very soon. The netting fences are effective at containment, until, the grass really is soo much irresistably greener on the other side.

Then a number of them will organise a 'Chicken Run' style; escape committee. One particularly plucky bird will climb part way up, over one of the flexible fencing stakes that holds up the mesh, she will then be followed closely by a huddle of the the others who will have been waiting clustered nearby. Eventually their combined weight serves to bend the post low enough, to allow a mass trampling down of the fence.
 And freedom... Until, that is, the greater pull of the rattled corn bucket lures them back.

It really does look as if they've thought it through...

Fascinating chicken factoid #27...The colour of a chickens ears denotes the colour of the eggs that it will lay.

Finally plucked up courage to emerge and found the forage to their liking; in fact one of these precocious girls went so far as to endorse her new home by laying an egg under the coop. 
They are supposed to do that in the nest boxes...I guess I'll have to draw a diagram.

No shortage of custard ingredients now....High hopes for tomorrow, what with it being Thursday ;)

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