Friday, April 1, 2011

Hens Have Arrived!

I had tried online and rang various phone numbers to obtain hens as soon as I had the hen house & garden ready. I was told this seasons chicks had just hatched and would not be ready to lay for about 18 to 20 weeks. Yesterday I was walking through the
Mahon Point farmers Market to access the shopping centre when I walked into a man selling hens,ducks & geese from a poultry ark!
He is doing a roaring trade he told me at 3 farmer's markets and is sold out each day.He had 3 Rhode Island reds so I took 2 home with me!I thought I better get used to these before adding to their number.
I had them in the back of the car in a box listening to their soft cooing, I got them home and realised I had never actually handled a hen before and do not particularly like anything feathered and flying?!
I gingerly picked one out of the box half expecting her to peck my hand, but no and neither did the second one!They strutted around the run as if they were on 4" Jimmy Choos, looking decidedly displeased with their new surroundings.
I had to purchase the feed and drink containers and a bag of feed from the same vendor as everything had happened so fast!
I put in a cabbage leaf and a small hawthorn branch with new leaves growing.They pecked at everything including the new grass.Come 8 o'clock last night I was wondering what time do hens turn in for the night and would I have to tuck them in?!
Shelley went in 4 times turned around and came out again, did she not think the boudoir was up to standard?!
Katie in the meantime made no attempt to go in and I was thinking she might be pulling an all nighter but eventually she did and I locked them in for the night.
They went in tonight at 7'o clock.
The bubble wrap is to keep their food dry and rain out of their drinking water.The weather here has changed for the worst with rain and gale force winds.
Kevin and myself are travelling to Midleton Farmer's market in the morning to pick up 2 more hens, they are all point of lay and expected to lay in about 2 weeks time.
I planted out the Broad beans on the plot today despite the gale force winds, the roots were coming through the ends of the pots for the last couple of days.I need the room in the greenhouse to continue planting, I spent a wakeful 2 nights expecting the wind to blow it around the garden but so far so good.
The shallots are coming on out on the plot.
Sturion onions are putting up green shoots, I took the covering off once they began to sprout as they would be damaged growing through it.
Asparagus is sprouting. I think the frost got the last few spears that came through quite early.
I noticed a flower growing on our rhubarb today and removed it, when taking it up to the compost heap I saw a few more dumped so others are having the same problem as we are. We have had an exceptionally dry Spring so far and the rhubarb reacts by flowering, expecting drought conditions! It is the plants way of propagating.

From the flower bed at home,one little Snakeshead Frittillaria! I only saw the slug? damage when looking at the photo.

12 comments:

Kellee said...

Hi Peggy the hens look happy in their new abode .

OffalyGoodLife said...

CONGRATULATIONS on the new arrivals - I'm sure you'll all be very happy together! The plot is coming on well too - we're just so far behind this year - a great inspiration.

Kathleen said...

Hens look great and youve christened them too,how to tell them apart though! Will they be making a lot of noise to wake the neighbours up I wonder?

Theanne and Baron said...

Shelley and Katie are awesome...their hen house is like a palace! Your garden is growing wonderfully...beautiful asparagus. And I learned something...I never knew that rhubarb bloomed, what would I do without friends who garden?

Ann said...

Loved seeing your hens Peggy! Should be an interesting time for you, getting to know them!

Enjoyed reading about your trip out and the legend.

I can't believe how dry March was, usually it's a cold wind and rain, we've had the winds but hardly any rain for ages.

Mrs Bok - The Bok Flock said...

WOO HOO!! COngrats Peggy! They are lovely girls and I'm sure they'll be very happy with you!

If you have trouble telling them apart...blob a bit of non toxic/childs paint of the tip of their wings in different colours.

Looking forward to seeing more of them!!

Scarlett the Heavenly Healer said...

Oh, you are lucky - now I have chronic hen-envy! Enjoy them, I'm sure you will :)

OneStonedCrow said...

Cluck! Cluck! ... enjoy your Chooks!

I was interested in your fear of of feathered or flying things as my mother is exactly the same - she freaks out at birds, mice or anything cuddly ... a phobia I've never been able to understand.

Why I garden... said...

How exciting are your hens! Hope they will be a delight. Your veg looks to be coming along nicely too.

Irish Cottage Dreams said...

You had me at Hens! I love hens and dream of having some myself one day. Happy Spring!!

Peggy said...

Hi everyone: the hens (now 4) seem happy enough, who can tell?!The hens have had more visitors in a couple of days than I have had in a week!
I was away over the weekend and 2 daughters were vying to look after the hens!

xlpharmacy said...

This is perfect because it reminded me when I had a farm but the hens i HAD like to eat my crops, that's the reason I can see you got the hens into those gages, Good idea!!!