Saturday, 13 December 2008

welcome to the petrol heads

When we lost Terri and Sherri last week, we were both bereft. In fact, so much so that when David said to me "I want more chooks", I didn't need to hear it a second time. I dashed down to the shop, bought a copy of the Cornish Times and went straight to the poultry section, where I got the number for a supplier of pullets.

I phoned the number, spoke with a lovely lady who told me that she certainly did still have some point-of-lay birds still available (it's getting very late in the year for youngsters) so we made a date to pop down and see her to rebuild our little flock.

We went in the dark to make her life easier (it's easier to catch a roosting chook) and our lives easier (it's easier to pop new birds into a coop full of sleeping hens than to try to introduce them in daylight). She went into a pitch dark shed and emerged with a lovely black hen with a rich dark brown head and a lovely petrol sheen to her feathers. She had a lovely red comb and was pronounced already in-lay. Then the lady popped in again, came out with another similar girl, except this time she'd got a little pink comb so isn't quite ready yet to start laying.

They came home with us and have fitted in with minimal fuss, possibly because it's so soon after Terri and Sherri's demise that the new pecking order isn't yet formed. Of course it's also possible that it's a time of year thing - they do get very uppity in the spring.

The next nice "chore" to find names for the two petrol, they became Jack and Hill - named after two of our favourite petrol heads, Jackie Stewart and Graham Hill. I don't suppose they'll mind being give boys names!

It only took a few hours for us to be picking out the first egg from the new girls - a huge purple and pink egg, spotted with brown and white spots. It won't be hard then to see who's laying and who's not, given the rest of our girls all lay eggs that are very different from these. We got them on Tuesday and have had eggs every day, but the best bit is that today we've had two - and the second one is smaller and browner and bluer if that makes sense, so I think we can safely assume that both Jack and Hill have settled in nicely!

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