Monday, 19 April 2010


Our back garden has felt very empty since the demise of the chickens. So, finally, we felt it was time to replace the hens.

Here they are having a pat before going into their new home:

So, please welcome the Tiny Farmer garden hens! From left to right they are De Kluk, Mabel, Goldie and Freelander2 (?!). And for those of you more interested in the breeds than their bizarre names they are a White Leghorn, Maran Coucou and the two on the right are Heritage Skylines. They were chosen specifically with interesting egg colour in mind. We found that people were always very excited to see white eggs from the last Leghorn we had and thought it would be fun to have some more non-supermarket coloured eggs. The Maran Coucou lays very attractive dark brown speckled eggs, white eggs from the Leghorn and the Skylines lay pastel coloured eggs – usually blue but sometimes pink, peach or jade. Skylines are an unusual breed derived from the Cream Legbar (that’s where the usual egg colour comes from). The chickens vary in colour from grey to all shades of brown and often have tufts on their heads. It took quite a bit of research to find a Heritage Skyline breeder – but we are hoping it will have been worth the effort.

Having said that we nearly came back from our POL pullet supplier with only one Skyline. The chickens on Kirsty’s farm are free range and while De Kluk, Mabel and Freelander2 were easily caught, the second Skyline – Goldie - seemed enjoy her unrestricted lifestyle and was not very keen to succumb to the net. It took over and hour and eventually needed four people to catch her!

Here are our new hens safely packed up in the back of the car:

We are going to keep them enclosed in the run for a while – at least until they get used to their new surroundings (and, even after wing trimming, I wouldn’t trust Goldie not to stray!). After that we will extend their room to roam by erecting an electric fence.
The birds seem to get on very well together but after only one day in the coop it looks like Goldie is going to be cock of the walk. She was the last to go to bed and the first to get out in the morning and is definitely trying to establish herself at the top of the pecking order.

Now all we have to do is sit back and wait for those beautiful coloured eggs.

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