I like birds. Today on our walk Jellybean said that he likes birds because they sing music that sounds absolutely beautiful pretty. He's right - they do, and even more brilliant is that it's properly turning into something resembling spring so the birds are singing all the time, and it's NICE.
Another nice thing is that the weather has attempted to get a couple of degrees warmer, it's not poured with rain for a few days so there's less mud, and we got some fresh hay and threw it around in the hen patch - so the hens are much happier.
They express this much happier feeling by crowing, hopping on and off things, scratching around and LAYING EGGS!
They haven't really laid eggs for AGES so it's really nice to find that not only are we getting eggs, but we're getting a really nice variety!
We get small green eggs, small dark brown eggs, normal light brown eggs and blooming great big white eggs.
It's really nice having eggs that are properly fresh, and having an interesting mix to show the kids - it's nice going out there and hearing the hens all having a little celebration when someone has laid, and seeing the cockerels strutting around like kings. We have three cocks - it wasn't deliberate, but we hatched our own eggs out and they never fight so we've never had to 'get rid' of anyone, which is a bit of a relief.
They do get quite loud, but we live beside a farm and they don't mind our chickens being loud - they get their own back with their noisy cows anyway! The fence beside our hen run is where their cowshed backs on to our property and the cows are in for winter, so we're quite a noisy little neighborhood really!
This magnificent creature is the big boss - he's pretty gigantic and likes to show you who is boss - he's very tall and quick to defend the girls when he thinks something is a threat - like the dog, or me, or any passing breeze. He likes to think he's hard but he hasn't ever pecked me - which is good, I think he'd hurt, he's pretty massive! We call him Cocky - not very original but it suits!
This pretty lady is very proud of her shiny white eggs - and very vocal about laying - I always know when to go out and collect because I can hear her, and usually when she clucks about it everyone else joins in. She's very broody at the moment, and is spending a lot of time in the nests - I think she might be our girl for hatching some Easter chicks.
Mmmmm warm from the chicken bottom!
We also have a few quail still - we started with these before we ever got chickens and they aren't laying at the moment but we have just moved them into a nicer abode - this is their indoor area and they have something three times this size outside - within the hen run but seperate - quail are very small, very quick (hence the blurry shot) and very nervy - we've lost a couple when Midget Gem tried to feed them and opened their hutch - which is why they were relocated! I hope they're ok wherever they are - I like to think they've run away to join the landlord's peacocks! (Though I do think it's rather more likely that they've just perished in the undergrowth - which is horrid.)
This is my favourite little hen - I THINK she lays the tiny dark brown eggs; she bustles around like Mrs Tiggywinkle, so that became her name - she seems very like a little old Mum type and reminds me of my first ever teacher, Mrs Hinton, she is adorable. Far smaller than the other hens and a very pretty colour with lovely fluffy feathers.
This is one of the other cockerels - he's not quite as bossy as Cocky and is called PomPom. Obviously. His missis lays lovely big eggs, and is usually missing most of her head pom pom because she gets terribly bullied by him - we have magical purple spray that we treat her with but the poor love is constantly getting raped by this brute. He's terrified of Cocky though who often wades it to rescue her. In fact as I was taking this photo Cocky decided that PomPom was getting ideas above his station and popped over to put him in his place - and then pecked my camera!
Know your place, PomPom! Cocky is the boss of you!
I didn't manage to get photos of each individual bird, and I'm not sure of their breeds - Daddytwo knows but it goes in one ear and out the other with me unfortunately!
I think this lovely ordinary looking lady at the front is laying and behind her the dark chicken is one of our first hens, who came from Daddytwo's Grandad Charlie. At the back is Mini-Cocky, who looks exactly like Cocky but is half his size. He's very sensible and keeps out of everyone's way and hangs around with Mrs Tiggywinkle.
As well as the chickens and quail we have Pogo - one of what was a pair of lovebirds. His lady wife Pirate didn't last very long - the trauma of moving from home to home before they found their way to us did her in, she was quite mangy looking for a few months then fell off her perch - I hope she liked her time with us, even if it did kill her! I'm not sure how old they are - or rather he is - because they had been shipped around from person to person for quite some time before we rescued them - Pogo reigns supreme over our downstairs living room, shouting at everyone who enters his throne room and being rather bossy. You can see from this picture that he's rather full of himself.
Anyone for poached eggs for breakfast?