Monday, 11 March 2013

The story of chickens.

One of the many reasons we wanted a house in the middle of no where was so that we could keep animals. Chickens were always going to be the first on the list, keeping them for meat and eggs, even though I am allergic to eggs!
We had owned the house for 8 months and been living in it full time for 4 the house changes had been done but nothing much else. A friend turned up one afternoon with a chicken he had found wandering along the roadside. Obviously he had thought of us, caught it and so we had our first chicken. The next day we went out and bought her a friend, as we knew that chickens are social birds. These two lived in a cardboard box with  palletes around them until the weekend when a proper pen was built for them.
 
Our first chicken, we called her Roastie
 
 
The chicken we bought...we called her Pots
 
We had a decision to make about where in the garden they were going to live, but since we had not begun to plan out the garden it would be pot luck (excuse the punn) if it was in the right place.
We chose the furthest corner of the garden, away from the house, so hopefully the dog would not pester them too much.
Kev set about building a pen for them. We used old fencing and posts that we had left over from the original garden when we moved in.
 
The run almost done
 
We planned on letting them free range in the garden, but knew the dog would have to get used to them first. This is the reason the run is quite big. We were going to have to keep them shut in for a few weeks or longer until we were sure George (the german shepherd) would not eat them.
 


We put log piles in the run and every week or so would move them around so that the hens could scratch for the bugs.
After 2 months...we got a big shock. Our little Pots had grown up...and was not what we thought!
She had turned into a cockerel and was crowing. If you can see in this photo, in the background the cardboard box. These 2 birds lived in these through the winter and into the Spring before we could get the recycled plastic hen house over to Spain.
 
We now have 7 hens and one cockerel. We have bred 4 lots of chicks using an incubator, as the hens just didn't go broody. We are going to keep 2 of the smaller hens this time around hoping that they will go broody and sit on eggs for us. We will keep you posted on that one.