Preparing for the arrival of our chickens, Alexis organised an Easter egg hunt, with a difference! Not only did we find eggs hidden round the farm, but chicken facts too!
In a week or two from now we’re bringing chickens to the farm!
Some are pullets, some battery hens we’re saving from a barn.
We’ve chosen three hybrid birds who get along just fine
They can lay 300 eggs a-piece so we’ll have omelettes all the time!
The Cotswold Speckled is silky and soft,
A Barred Plymouth Rock/Marans cross.
She’s black and white and her eggs are brown,
She’s a big docile hen to have around
The Black Star has a red/gold chest
And for friendly children is one of the best
Her plumage glistens purple and green
And like all our chickens she’s had her vaccine
The Little Ballerina, or Cotswold White Star
Is a flighty, feisty madam, but she won’t stray far
Her eggs are large and china white and though she is only small
She’s lots of fun and has the biggest personality of all.
We’ll feed our chickens layers pellets –
a mix of protein, sunflower and wheat
Along with our own heritage grains to make their diet complete
They’ll also enjoy our kitchen scraps if we are so compelled
And finally some grit to chew, to help form hard egg shells.
We need to check our chickens’ health so here are a few tips:
Make sure they don’t do watery poos, and that they regularly shit
Also, the top of their head should be red (this is called their comb)
And their wattle – the bit under their chin – should be a similar tone
Their gullet should be firm with no growths, and their eyes shiny and bright
If you see them flapping in the dust, they’re just keeping off parasites.
We can collect the eggs late in the morning every single day
If a chicken is sitting on her eggs, try to gently move her away
She might not like it, so treat her nicely,
and perhaps wear gloves in case she gets bitey.
Sometimes they lay ‘soft-shelled eggs’ – they have a membrane but no shell
If you’re lucky you’ll find a double yolker, but we’re all after these, so don’t tell!
Did you know there are thousands of types of chicken all over the world?
And on the whole they live to an age of 4 or 6 years old.
They came from tropical rainforests, a long way from our shores
And they’re the closest living relative to T-rex dinosaurs.
Their memory’s better than an elephant’s – they can recall 100 faces!
And apparently they can also dream, of distant lands and places…
They appoint a boss and from then on they’ll all obey and adore her
That’s why in slang a hierarchy is called a ‘pecking order’.