Sad news ;-( and happy news :-D and a funny fact ;-)!

Hi everyone! Sorry I have not posted for a while.

Sadly Stripey (the barred rock) died 😦 . We were all very sad and will miss her very much.

Happily though we have bought a new hen called Midnight. Midnight is a black rock and is very pretty. We think she is bottom of the pecking order ( the order of their strength) with Bluebell at the top and snowy in the middle.

A funny fact is that we had our first egg today last year – Monday the 18th September 2016.

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Double Yoke

img_0011We got a really big egg today. It was double the size of our normal eggs. Dad said it must have hurt the chicken laying it!

When mum cracked it open we found out that it had two yokes. We were really impressed. Here are are some pictures of the egg.

By the way the egg didn’t fit into any of our egg cartons.

Dad looked on the internet to see what the record was for the most yokes in an egg and it was 9 according to one website.

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Training the chickens

Why did we train our our chickens?
We wanted to train our chickens so that we can easily get them in their coop or run when we need to rather than having to chase them round the garden!

It is also good to have your chickens trained so that if you see a predator in the garden, such as a fox, you can quickly get your chickens to go tot the safety of their run or coop.
How we trained them?

We trained them with quite a bit of work at the start because they did not know what it was (corn) and how we taught them it was by shaking the corn every time they pecked to tell them when you hear the shaking noise it means corn.
When the chickens come out they run to me to get some corn. Today I did a video of them running to me for some corn (I don’t give them as much corn as it shows in the video.)

Breeds of chicken

We have 3 different breeds of chicken. They all get along with each other.
The White Sussex. The Sussex chicken is a dual purpose breed of chicken that originated in England around the time of the Roman conquest of Britain in AD 43 that is a popular garden chicken in many countries. It lays about 250eggs a year.

The Bluebell. The blue-slate coloured Bluebells are one of the biggest of the hybrids and also one of the most popular. They are derived from various types of Marans Coucou and Rhode Island Red. They can come in light slate grey or darker grey shades. They have a large red comb and black feet. It lays about 260eggs a year.
The Barred Rock. The Barred Rock is a hybrid derived by crossing a Barred Plymouth Rock (cock) and a Rhode Island Red (hen). It gets the bars (attractive black & grey stripes) in its feathers from the Barred Plymouth Rock which gives it a very attractive plumage. It’s a reverse cross of the Black Rock and like the Black Rock it is a reliable and tough bird. It can lay up to 290eggs a year.

Thank you to Howard from Poultry Paddock for the information. 

Eggciting!

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Fake eggs in our coop.

Yesterday we bought some fake eggs. We put them into the nesting box to teach the hens where to lay the eggs. By the night we bought the fake eggs the chickens had realised what they were, Stripey and Bluebell were sharing a nesting box and because it was so squishy Snowy went in her own nesting box so. At bed time they were all nesting on a plastic egg.

In, Out – Shake it all about

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Snowy coming out of the coop for the first time.

Yesterday and today we have let the the chickens out to roam our garden.

Yesterday we let them out 1 hour before dusk. Stripey fell a sleep whilst standing and sitting outside and inside so she missed all the fun. Yesterday if one hen went in the rest would go in and then if one went out the others would go out. This kept happening for about 30minutes. Finally at about quarter past eight they went in to bed.

Today we let them out at 2pm and they initially acted the same – in and out.

All but Stripey have been for lunch. They have now been out in the garden for 1.5hours and seem quite happy clucking and roaming around the garden or sunbathing.

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Stripey sunbathing in the garden.