Sunday, 12 July 2015

say hello three of my four new hens. Due to the cockerel problem and my complete inability to dispatch any of my family I decided we needed more girls. So off to the market last Thursday. I impressed myself with how I managed to ask for and choose my new hens! I was even able to ask if they were female! I did get a dirty look at that as on the whole all are. I have though heard of expats being given boys! Possibly a case of if you don't give the impression you know what you are doing you can be fooled! They have settled in well and seem to have attached themselves to my pure bred Buff Orpington boy. I originally chose the Orpingtons as they are docile and I had no experience in handling them. I also started with four girls and one boy along with an incubator. I bred ducks and chickens successfully and gained valuable experience in handling them. Due to needing to mix the blood I have introduced different birds over the years. With the inevitable visits by the fox I have stopped naming my birds and am happy to mix in market hens.
Typically, when I put the new chickens in the barn I noticed a hen in a nest box.....sitting on eggs. I risked my hands to mark the eggs and remove some. She now has 5 eggs to hatch which I don't mind. I will have to get my head around dispatching any boys once big enough as cannot cope with more.
The hens all lay in one box which is why I have marked the eggs. I also cleaned out the other nest boxes yesterday hoping to encourage the girls to use them. I do not want to risk being attacked every day by a broody hen!
I now need to sort out the geese. They need water to sit in. I noticed at the farm supply shop we recently visited, some large water containers. They are big round things designed for cows etc to drink from. Perfect for the geese. It will mean as well I can clean it out easily and keep the water fresh. So I am saving my €'s !
Ducks are loving the pond and are a joy to watch diving and preening! A real stress buster.


  1. Can I just tell you a cautionary tale. I had a lovely Buff Orpington cockerel - he really was a big boy. My hens were mainly allsorts that I had bred myself over the years (often hens went away and arrived back with a small brood at foot) and looked rather like yours. I gave a dozen eggs to a friend to hatch in her incubator and none hatched. When they broke the shells each one had a chick inside but the chicks had just got too large for the size of the egg. Justthought I would warn you. Hope you have better luck.

  2. it must be really lovely having all those animals (leaving aside the possibility of fox attacks). We'd love to, but as you know have decided not to have any animals/birds, pets or otherwise, we don't really want the commitment. We just want to focus on doing up the house, getting more storage, creating more veg beds, to be as self sufficient as possible for when OH retires.

  3. So far I have had no problems with hatchings. If mum pushes out an egg I dispose of it knowing they somehow know if it is not viable. The eggs laid are all pretty big so hopefully I will not have a problem. Only time will tell. Last year I had ten hatch naturally with no problems.