Slight conflict of interests today, being both my husband’s birthday and Mothers’ Day. So I didn’t get breakfast in bed, but we did get some new chooks.
We currently have four backyard chickens – three hilines and one small and shy araucana hen. They have separate coups on account of the hilines were, unbeknown to me, a vicious posse of thugs, and brutalised the newcomer. I had no idea ”pecking order” was quite so literal. So she’s been pining away on her own for a few weeks, and today we organised ourselves to get out and get her some fowl companionship. The lady owner of the farm, which breeds heritage poultry, on hearing of our current situation picked out some lovely natured little pullets to go in with the bantam, Silvia.
Little now, but they grow to be the biggest breed of chicken in the country – the roosters were enormous! I asked my husband later what breed they were, and he could only say size 30. He has food on the brain, does my honey.
See the one on the right? Yup – that’s what I’m talking about. This is an Orpington, which is the breed I believe we’ve got.
Really I had no idea that there were so many breeds of chicken of such varying sizes and shapes.
I’d heard that dinosaurs had ancestral links to birds, but some of these chickens truly have the look of a raptor about them.
So as they grow hopefully our little Orpingtons will become Silvia’s muscle and their crew might hold their own in the chicken run.
The kids, my little Bird especially, are thrilled with the new chooks, who my husband named Delia and Nigella, after Delia Smith and Nigella Lawson (he’s a foodie) – I very tactfully suggested that since it was his birthday, he should get naming rights; tactful because the kids were plumping for “Fluffy” and “Feathery”.
Delia and Nigella survived both the welcome of my children and their new coup-mate, who gave them some startled looks and a few half-hearted pecks, and last sight of them tonight was the three of them nesting up together against the chill.