Wednesday, 18 February 2015

Our hens are starting to lay again!

We have a small flock of hens, plus an obligatory cockerel.

Actually, it's not obligatory to have a cockerel, but when you hatch your own, you are nearly always bound to have at least one. At the moment I have 17 hens and a cockerel (hatched last year, along with 4 hens - a good ratio methinks as it could have been the other way around).

The winter months have been quite scarce for eggs, we would be luck if we would get 2 a week, but with the new hens plus our oldies chipping in we are getting anywhere between 6 & 9 a day now.

We sell the surplus at the "farm gate" for just 10p an egg, or £1.20 a dozen - I know we could get more, but most of our buyers are friends and/or neighbours.

In the mornings they all come to greet me at the corner of their run to see if I am bringing any tidbits - which I never am. I feed the hens plain layers pellets that they have access to all day, and then in the afternoons they get treated to a handful of mixed corn.

My job in the morning is to give them fresh water, but I do throw out a few layers pellets for them to scratch around for. The cockerel, being a young chap is very wary of me, checking to make sure I'm not going to harm his girls.

It will soon be time to see if the cockerel has been doing his job, and to take half a dozen eggs and get them into the incubator - it will be good to get some youngsters into the flock for next winter - we might just get more than 2 a week then!