As my family and friends will attest, that apart from my love of all things fabric, I also love all things chicken. My chickens are actually my feathered children, have different personalities and temperaments and are all named. I have 21 chooks at the moment including a cockerel whom we have named ‘Swiss Toni’ (“cock-a-doodle-doing is like making love to a beautiful chicken”)* He’s a vicious character and would quite happily peck my legs until they bleed but he does a grand job of looking after his girls. His dad is a Buff Orpington and his mum is a black Orpington so he’s quite a looker.
I’ve been keeping chickens for over a year now and am completely addicted. I started with 6 and the flock quickly grew when I took on a few battery hens. Once you get the bug, you really have a job not buying hundreds (ED – Defra might have something to say about that!). It sounds bizarre, yes.
For the first time I’ve had a broody hen – she is called Steve McQueen – don’t ask. She’s sat on roughly 15 eggs. Not all of them were hers; she’s gathered anyones and everyones she could find. Happily sitting on her clutch all day she muttered clucking noises to herself in the dark corner of the hen house. She really did a great job. We now have 5 chicks that hatched; 4 from the mummy hen and cream legbar from the incubator. The legbar was from someone I met from the ‘chicken world’ (a parallel universe where it’s ok to chat about prolapses, red mite, soft eggs etc etc).
Like any proud grandparent, I have photos on my phone of the chicks.
*catchphrase adapted somewhat from tv’s Swiss Toni to chicken Swiss Toni