This blog is mainly a rambling kind of diary of the transition from smallholderwannabe to smallholder.

Friday, September 02, 2011

I have news!  One of my new hens has just laid its first egg.  I can't tell you how thrilled I feel when I have new little hens and find the very first egg -  small but perfectly formed.  I rushed back in shouting to my husband that "They've laid an egg, they've laid an egg!".  The neighbours, unaware of the new garden inhabitants, must have thought that finally, I had lost the remains of the plot.  After all, what else do I expect hens to do?

This has come at a good time because the other main group of my laying hens has come over all autumnal and the number of eggs has dropped a lot this week.  Two weeks ago they were laying 5 or 6 a day and this week it is down to 2 or 3 - from 6 hens.  I shall have to go round apologising to all my customers next week as they will be on rations again until the new hens really start laying.  I'm glad that I am not dependent on the egg money for income!  The money earned from the eggs laid by the younger hens subsidises keeping the older hens as just pets.

The school chicks have grown lots.  They are 9 weeks old today.  The two bigger ones have gone from 50 - 60g at hatching to 1075g (I think this one is female) and 1190g (I think this one is a male and may well have a nasty fate in store...).  The little bantam has gone from 35g to 595g (jury is still out on male/female).  That is a lot of growing in just 9 weeks!  And an incredible amount of food eaten too.  They have got through 11Kg of chick crumbs and a third of a 20Kg sack of growers pellets.  Now that they are bigger, I've started giving them just a bare teaspoonful of mixed corn when I give it to the others and they really love it and get really excited when they see me coming with that tub.  Being young still, I don't like to give them too much in case their digestive systems aren't quite up to it yet but it keeps them occupied for ages checking over their run in case they missed a bit somewhere.  And keeps me amused just watching them.


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