Chickens

Back in February we bought two new chickens. We’ve had our original two for nearly two years and we figured that we could handle another two in the garden.

Although the chickens spend most of their time wandering around the garden, I decided to extend the run by another metre just to give them a little more room in the morning while they wait to be let out to free range.

We located a local poultry farm, Chalk Hill Poultry, and popped down to pick up a Sussex Star and and Bluebelle. The two new chickens were named Lilly and Bluebelle.

The new residents had to spend the first three days in the Eglu run so they would get used to that being their home. During the first day of this Egna and Pecker were very loud as the scratted around the garden. Generally showing their lack of appreciation for the new visitors. As the evening wore on and the solar powered chickens wound down, they all roosted up together and with a little argy bargy – got along.

Over the next few days the four got used to each other and with the odd bit of aggro the old chickens let the new ones understand their place in the pecking order.

Over the following six weeks they have formed to groups of two who can generally tolerate being in reasonable proximity of each other. The odd bit or arguing happens – but as a general rule they seemed to be getting on.

Bluebelle grew very quickly. We often commented that she seemed more like a cross between a emu and a velociraptor. She’s a little bit mad with massive feet.

Having bought the chickens at point-of-lay we expected them to actually starting laying any time. At six weeks they were behind how long we waited for Egna and Pecker, but then we are just coming out of winter so we did bother too much.

Over the last week Bluebelle started becoming aggressive toward Lilly. Grabbing her behind the neck, chasing her round the garden more, and almost trying to confine her to the Eglu.

Anyway, this morning I got up at 6am as usual and let them out of the run before quickly going back to bed. We were up late last night and we lost an hour because of the clocks going back, so it was really 5am.

Lying in bed I heard what can only be described as the most pathetic attempt at a cock-a-doodle-do… and in that moment all the strange images of six weeks of Bluebelle rushed before my eyes, the big feet, the size, the stupid run around the garden, the pecking or Lilly, and I knew, that she was a he!

I heard the crowing a few more times before I got downstairs to look out of the french doors into the garden. And there before my eyes, I witnessed Bluebelle, stand up high, proud, and announce in the most pathetic excuse for a crow, cack-er-duddle-dum, I am a man!

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