Wednesday, September 5, 2012

New chickens.

Taking their first tentative steps outside their new home.
On Friday 31st August our latest batch of laying hens arrived on the farm - 101 Columbian Blacktails. Unlike our previous two batches of hens, these are "point of lay", meaning that any week now they will start laying eggs for the first time in their lives. The eggs will be smaller, thicker-shelled, and from 101 birds we should be getting between 80 and 90 eggs per day. The birds themselves are small, soft to the touch,and timid.

Our other 139 surviving hens are getting old, and many are in their "winter" moult (an indication of how poor this summer has been?), so are laying very few eggs, between 30 and 40 a day in total. They are also Columbian Blacktails, but were already 18 months old when we bought them, so are now either 40 or 32 months old depending on which batch they belong to. Their eggs, as well as being few in number, are big, soft-shelled, and the birds eat several themselves every day.

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