Sadly, last year dear Henny and Martina
had a close encounter with the fox.
We were so upset and for a while afterwards
we didn't have any chooks.
Then a friend-of-a-friend
phoned and said her two had stopped laying and would we like them
"otherwise I'll wring their necks".
Only one response to that - go get them QUICK!
Melaine has deformed feet but manages to strut about quite happily
and Mrs Browne is exceptionally bossy.
Both hens free-ranged in the lady's garden and frequently got caught
by her terrier dog, but she didn't think that had
anything to do with the fact they didn't lay!
Two days after they arrived we were presented with
a perfect, speckled brown egg.
Just before Christmas I collected Joan and Edie Warren
from the local battery house.
At 14 months old they were nearing the end of their commercial lifespan,
so another pair have escaped the chop!
They've settled in well, quickly learning their place in the pecking order
and trying to avoid Mrs. Browne's very sharp beak!
Their feathers are gradually growing so hopefully by springtime
they'll be two plump girls with nice red combs that stand tall.
Unfortunately Joan lost a toenail and was quite lame
but after bathing her foot for a few days in warm saltwater and
treating with antibiotic spray she's back on form.
In the mean time I'm more than happy with a couple of eggs each day
throughout the winter, but I have no idea who is doing the laying!