I thought it was probably time for a general update on all the chicks that have hatched in the first few months that we have been in the new house. There was no master plan for us to raise lots of chickens when we moved here, just keep some for eggs for us and other family members.
After asking around on Twitter about the flock we inherited from the previous owners I think they are White Leghorn and a quick check on Wikipedia (the source of ALL knowledge obviously) I find the conclusive evidence in the statement:
Leghorns are active and efficient foragers. They typically avoid human contact and tend to be nervous and flighty
I couldn’t have described them any better but plans are now in hand to deal with the wayward laying of eggs by enclosing the main chicken area so we have more control over when they disappear into the woods and thus hopefully where they lay their eggs.
Luckily I can’t bring myself to think about getting rid of the cockerel and he does a good job of keeping the girls in line so he gets a reprieve… for now at least.
The two chicks that hatched around 22/23 June were our first batch and I’m not sure why the other 4 or 5 eggs didn’t hatch as well. These two are looking very healthy and I assume that as they are now 8 weeks of age they are almost ready to be independent of their mother.
The next batch of chicks just turned up quite unexpectedly 1st August when I went to shut the chickens up for the night. The mother hen was sitting on the steps of the chicken coop and when I tried to scoot her inside she stood up to reveal that she apparently had 8 pairs of feet.
The most recent batch appeared quite unexpectedly in the woods at the end of the chicken area around 12 August and unfortunately there were a few deaths early on. This was probably because the mother hen doesn’t seem to have any sense and wanted to keep to herself in the woods instead of using the accommodation provided by us. We are down to just 5 chicks from the original 7 or 8 that originally hatched but those that have survived this far are doing well now.