Saturday, 17 March 2012

Lovely ladies

So today's sneak peak is of the lovely group of chickens that we share with 3 other families in the village. These lovely ladies reside in a purpose built (and very secure) mesh enclosed area at the allotments. Each family is responsible for looking after the chickens for a week in rotation. This week it was our turn again.

We have 15 chickens in total now but I'm afraid that in the year the project has been going we have already loved and lost a few. Looking after chickens is not as easy as it looks and we are very much all still novices. It is mostly great fun though and the girls are generally very tolerant of toddlers. My eldest now can safely help me collect the eggs without breaking them and I can catch laying chickens with relative ease. The only ones I can't catch are the white ones (Light Sussex breed) who seem very jumpy.

The whole village has access to the allotment and so can go and visit the chickens. Lots of people tell me they've been up to have a chat to the girls and all the families who have allotments seem to enjoy bringing the children up to look at the chickens.

Our chickens are all hybrids (I think!) which means they lay lots of eggs. Even through the winter months we generally got 6eggs a week. Now spring is on the way the girls are getting serious and so far this week have laid 40 eggs with today and tomorrow still to go.

My absolute favourite thing about looking after the chickens is my early morning walk to let them out. The short walk is great thinking time.  This walk nearly always results in me meeting the local farmer Terry and his two gorgeous dogs. You'll here more of them in future posts but our five minute chats are often the highlight of my day. My five minute morning chat with Terry normally involves him telling me the farm's tasks for the day and perhaps the progress they've already made - information I can then pass on to my little boys when they ask about the various tractors, vehicles and trailers they see and the noises they hear. So this week I know that Terry and Paul (his son) are hoping to start lambing in 10 days time; greatly enjoyed the fruit cake I made for them; drilled 93 acres in one day (we could hear the roar of the farm machinery all day) and are really hoping to get some willow cut down before the lambing.

I'm hoping we will be able to visit the lambs in a month or so when they've all been born. I promise to take pictures if we do!

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