I allowed the hens out of the coop this evening for about an hour, it is not a particularly nice evening being wet and miserable so I felt sorry for the girls and opened the doorway to let them stretch their legs and explore the garden.It took a few minutes for one of them (Shelly) to investigate the outside world, the others followed tentatively spreading their wings and flying awkwardly in short bursts.
On sat morning Kevin and myself headed down to Midleton to the Farmer's Market. It was early and the market was quiet,the serious shoppers were filling up their shopping bags.This is the poultry ark where the hens and ducks are on sale.We picked up 2 more hens and brought them home to introduce them to the others.I thought there was going to be a bit of a showdown as the newbies were blocked from the food bucket by the other two standing solidly in front of it!
Midleton is one of the first Farmer's Markets and continues to attract large crowds, ,most of the stall holders are sold out each day.There are organic beef and pork stalls here, the stall holders are the producers also and love to answer any questions about their products.
The poultry ark was always the centre of attention, the owner told me he had sold quite a lot of hens for Mother's Day complete with coops!
The hens were not long finding the flower bed, they are still clustered together even though they could spread out.The first two hens are the leaders it seems, the two newer ones follow along.
Shelley got into the coop on Sat night and sat in front of the doorway blocking entry to the others!After standing around in the cold they eventually pushed their way in, tails sticking out and D.Ais had to close in the door pushing them in while doing so.
I noticed one hen outside tonight for quite a while on her own,the others had gone inside and I began to wonder if they were blocking her from entering.I had a look inside and could not see where they were as it was nearly dark at this stage.I opened the nest box at the side and here were the 3 hens snuggled up together!The 4th one did not want to roost on her own I think, she eventually went in and I closed in the door.