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It is official I am a chicken farmer

It was my baby sisters wedding this weekend and my dad did a father of the bride speech and amongst other things he humorously introduced the family to my sisters new husband ( we of course have known him for years) He said I was the one that was hard to miss, and that I trained as a nurse and was now a writer and chicken farmer 😉

this is my pretty frock and the shawl I knitted

I thought since I was a chicken farmer I would introduce my flock

This is Potter (sitting) and Lilly, they are the only ones of the original chickens that we got at the church bazaar that started the chicken farming and in fact these are the ones that our friends got and not ours as all of ours turned out to be roosters.They are enormous and affectionately known in our house as The Fatties.

Potter has purple on her as she was the chicken we were saving the other day and I am pleased to say that despite the vets doom and gloom, the chicken forums predictions won out and Potter made a full recovery, the purple spray just has to grow out with her next molt

Next we got Jack Hen which you know about, she was the first of our chickens to require the Pinky and Geek vetinary clinic services when she got a prolapse and was the model for the felt chicken. She was recently broody and I tried to get eggs for her to sit on (ours are not fertilized as we have no rooster) and she was a great mommy, but The Fatties kept trying to lay in the same nesting box and crushing her eggs with their gargantuan size. After 23 days (eggs are supposed to hatch after 21 days) I took her off the nest. She can get sick if she sits for too long as they don’t eat or drink much in that time. There were 4 of the original 10 eggs left and I was going to candle them, a method of trying with a light source to see if a chick is growing, so The Geek took the eggs out in a towel and left them inside…

There is always drama, and of course Moby the delinquent dog stole them and ate them (insert puke face) so I never did get to see if the eggs had even started to form. I am not even sure they were fertilized, next time I have a better source to get eggs from if I have a broody hen and I will keep the Broody separate, so The Fatties can’t disturb her. Jack Hen does not seem too worried about the lack of babies, she spent the day eating and wandering around the garden after 21 days of hardly leaving the nest. Next time I will do better for her or whoever else goes broody.

Next we got The Babies. A friend Jo had a broody hen and she sat and hatched 3 babies but Jo could not keep more chickens in her smaller garden so she asked if I would like them. They were 6 weeks old when we got them and are now out in the main flock and doing very well. I think these two are girls

and I am guessing this is a boy, I am hoping to keep him, I want a Rooster to fertilize our own eggs but it may mean I have to get his vocal cords severed – is that mean? I say that any creature would rather be alive than in the pot and The Geek says removing a Rooster ability to crow will make it sad. So not sure what we are going to do if he is a boy. And because we did not know what sex these were and if they were male or more than 1 was a male they were destined for the pot the kids have not been allowed to name them. I am yet to see if we can actually get over the we-don’t-eat-our-chickens hurdle

Next we got a beautiful red hen. She arrived with the name Princess but that was not deemed to be enough so we call her Laya ( Princess Laya from Star Wars and she Lays eggs 😉 ) I really like her but she is very noisy – the reason she was re-homed was she was driving a friend mad with her clucking.

Then Jo contacted me, when she put her Mommy Hen back in with the other hens after she had the afore mentioned babies they were mean and pecked her severely on the head until she had to be removed for her own safety. Jo asked if I would take the Mommy as it was not safe for her in her own flock any more. Hence we got Mommy hen. I thought she might like to go in with the Babies as they were her babies and then slowly as she felt better integrate with the flock ( the babies were separate at this point) but No… more drama

Mommy does not welcome her little babies under her wings, fussing and clucking over them saying “my, how you have grown” and ” Are they treating you okay here?” No, what does she do? She rushes over and pecks them! She attacked them, my kids start screeching and getting most irate and finally we have to remove Mommy and check no babies got injured.

She then proceeded to try peck everyone else in the flock. I think where she came from obviously there was a very strong pecking order and you had to assert your dominance or die. While my ‘hippy’ flock as Jo has since named them, all love each other, accept new chickens easily and don’t pick on each other. The Fatties might be big but they are sweet natured and Laya is noisy by timid. Jack Hen is also very calm and does not pick on others.

I was very worried that if Mommy hen carried on picking on others I would have to get rid of her but thankfully the ‘hippy’ vibe of our garden seems to have mellowed her out and she is not attacking anyone any more and her head is almost totally healed.

So that is our flock and the reason my dad affectionately named me a chicken farmer