Wonderful weather over the weekend, the added bonus being clear blue sunny skies devoid of aircraft due to the volcano in Iceland!
A couple of months ago I did mention that we now had a dog, Max, who is now a well established chicken hound. Despite his puppy inclinations at excitement he is and the girls get on great probably with the exception of Stella who, despite being a grown up girl now still flaps at the smallest thing. Not that we are worried, having recently having picked up Stella she is very, very solid and could probably withstand a small nuclear attack and a small puppy isn't going to do any harm whatsoever. To ensure that hens in the city doesn't become Uptown Puppy you can follow Max's adventures at http://johndentonmckenna.blogspot.com/ - link also in the side panel.
My approach to stopping the girls being broody worked! Less that two weeks later and we are already have Ruby and Stella laying - hooray. I cannot tell you how wonderful the taste of our home produced eggs are so its great that the supply has returned.
We have been been doing some reworking in the garden, moving some old border edging and replacing it with wicker hurdles. Needless to say the girls were there to help! They have over the winter months been confined to the end of the garden and as you can see from above, there isn't a lot of lawn remaining (so some returfing in a month or so me thinks) however once the plants are established again they will again have access to the entire garden.
And thank god that the girls don't eat daffodils however my new delphinium regrowth didn't last long!
Now don't ask me why but for some reason we had an idea that we should get another silkie to keep Harriet company. So it was with glee that we saw urban-chickens.com were holding a chicken auction in Essex. Off we went and were amazed at the number of chickens available for sale and how many people turned up. It was great fun in the auction itself and we became the proud owners of two new chickens.
Firstly we did indeed acquire a silkie. Duly named Tallulah she is I think partridge coloured (most appropriate considering our recent visitor) and was supposedly hatched in 2008.
On exit from her box (one of the problems with the auction was it was not easy to see into some of the boxes to completely check out your prospective purchase) she was a bit rough looking to say the least and a bald bum. Saying that she appears to be full of character and Tallulah is a bold one that's for sure.
The second purchase was a second choice. First choice was a lovely gold-laced wyandotte hen however we were firmly outbid on her. Secondly we were taken with silver Sussex hens (again) and there were a few for sale. As it happened the lotts in the catalogue didn't match the actual birds being auctioned so it was a little confusing and we ended up not buying the bird that we had originally looked! Still we have a 2009 bred silver hen named Nigella.
Bless her, she couldn't be more distant from our last silver Sussex hen Cybil. Nigella is very shy, very nervous and would you believe a pigeon-toed chicken! I do think she is going to take a while to settle in and she is most definitely at the bottom of the pecking order.
So would I get chickens from an auction again? I have to say that I probably would but would be happier if the birds were in cages that you could see the birds more fully................the biggest job ahead of us now is integrating two new girls into our resident flock of three!