In the absence of my camera, there’s no handwritten list this week. So today, I shall tell you about the chickens.
We have eleven chickens, all extremely free range. We originally got them so we’d have a supply of eggs, but they are such wonderful characters that the eggs are almost a side-benefit. We name our chickens and they all have very distinct personalities. When I find the camera I shall add pictures.
1. Josephine is a Speckeldy (grey with black speckles) hen. She’s the last of our original girls, and we’ve had her three years. We were very unlucky and lost two of our original hens over the winter. Josephine goes broody a lot but the one time she hatched a chick she kicked it out of the nest.
2. Audrey – or Audrey The Superhen – was a battery hen. She’s brown – we don’t know her breed. She was sold off for a pound when she was apparently past her ‘useful’ days as an egg layer. That was three years ago and she still lays like a champion. She was attacked by a friend’s Jack Russell and ripped open down one side – Mr S&S sewed her up on the kitchen table with sewing thread, and despite the odds, she pulled through. She reared a clutch of chicks and took over the ones abandoned by the other mothers. She’s almost tame and likes to wander into the kitchen to say hello.
3. Ada is a white Amberstar. She’s friendly enough with occasional neurotic moments.
4. Pauline is a Bluebell. She’s silvery grey and extremely beautiful. She is also incredibly stupid (and no chicken is a rival to Socrates, let’s face it). She forgets how to go to bed if the other chickens aren’t there to follow.
5. Alison is another Speckeldy. She’s quite friendly and is usually one of the first to come when food’s in the offing.
6. Dolly is our new girl. She came to live with us last week, as her previous owner couldn’t keep her. She’s a Light Sussex (white with a black head and neck) and seems to be settling in. She was quite timid at first but is starting to hold her own.
7. & 8. We have two Rhode Island Reds, Jocelyn and Dot (dark reddish brown). Dot is totally bonkers and has a tendency to pick a fight. Mr S&S calls her ‘Mad Eyes’. Jocelyn is much less temperamental.
9. 10. & 11. We also have three part Buff Orpingtons, who we hatched last summer. Or rather, Audrey and Ada hatched them. They don’t have names yet as they are still too similar for us to tell them apart. They are provisionally ‘Charlotte, Emily and Anne‘ and known collectively as ‘The Brontes’.
This is one of our old chickens, Ruby, who was one of the girls we lost over the winter:
Did you make a list today?