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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Stick Food

We found some new treats for the chickens at Waterworld on the Wirral. We bought these while we were getting goldfish for my birthday. They are made of all natural ingredients such as nuts, corn and raisins. You get two sticks in a pack for £4.99.

At first our chickens were scared of it because they didn't know what it was. But then Stripy pecked it and then carried on. Stripy, if it's not at the right angle, puts a claw on it and rearranges it before putting her claw back on it and eating it. Our chickens really enjoyed it and it was worth the money.

They last about two days for our chickens.

You can buy them from Amazon as well.

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. 

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.

Buying our chickens

Today we got our chickens from The Poultry Paddock (http://poultrypaddock.com/) in Newcastle Under Lyme. My mum had emailed Howard(the farmer) who had had lots of chickens for sale.

We set off pretty early to get there for 10:00 although we got there slightly early.

Howard was looking after the chickens when we got there. Howard was a very friendly man. When we arrived Howard told us to wipe our feet on some disinfectant so the chickens stayed in a good condition. Whilst we were looking Howard was telling us what the different breeds were.

We then had to decide which chickens we wanted. We decided to get 3 – one for mum and dad, one for Charlie and one for me.

First Charlie decided, then me and finally mum and dad.

I chose a stripey one which I called Stripey (Barred Rock breed).

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This is Stripey

Charlie chose a white one with a black collar which he called Snowy (White Sussex breed).

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This is Snowy

Mum and dad chose one with a really dark head and a pale body which they called Bluebell (Bluebell breed).

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This is Bluebell

Howard clipped their wings (it’s like having your hair cut) so that it would be difficult for them to fly away. We brought a box to take them home in – they were very comfy in it on the back seat next to me and Charlie.

When we got home we let them into the run to explore. We are leaving them in the run and coop for 4 days so they get used to our garden before letting them out.