Thursday, 6 September 2012

Re-united and it feels so good...

Earlier in the year we very sadly lost all of our 7 hens and two adorable ducks to a fox. All our poultry had homemade sturdy housing and were locked up safely every night, but this fox prowled in broad daylight and over the space of a couple of days cleared us out completely. The last two hens had initially escaped but became poorly afterwards and finally died from the shock and horror of it all.

The only survivor of this rural massacre was our large and normally a bit aggressive 
and sexually charged cockerel.

but he was not happy after losing all of his girls.

In fact he was miserable.

Some neighbours of ours went on holiday in June and asked us to look after their hens and ducks. They didn't have a male head of house in their flock. So, with our neighbours permission, cockerel, went on a bit of an extended holiday and has been happily servicing a new harem of hens down the road.

Soon he had is mojo back,and he started, as cockerels are prone to do, crowing at first light. Even though we are well past midsummer it is still a pretty early start for my poor neighbour who is pregnant and probably not getting enough sleep as it is.

So last week-end we went shopping for some new hens. As we are approaching winter, it was decided that we would just get 3 hybrids, just coming into lay, that should continue to lay all through the winter.

We used to have some pure breeds and we will again next Spring perhaps. Pure breeds lay less eggs than hybrids, for now I just wanted hens that would keep us in eggs for the next couple of months. 
Of course when we got there, the plan changed and Little Bee was allowed to spend some of her birthday money on her own choice of hen.

Hens are notoriously difficult to photograph well. They are rarely just lounging around in the sun waiting to be snapped like a cat or a dog would.  So here they are on the move as usual.

Our new flock.

Little Bee's birthday hen is called Betty she's on the left and is a Light Sussex, the lovely grey one is a Bluebell and as such will probably be called er...Bluebell.

Egg layer 1 and egg layer 2 (although one has a more ginger neck than the other so she'll be called Ginger).

They are Rhode Island Red hybrids, they are half the same breed as cockerel. We let all the ladies  settle into their new home for a few days. Cockerel was brought home and got to stay in the duck house for a couple of nights so they all could get used to each other through the fence. The red hens are a bit bullish with the other two, but letting Mr. Cockerel in should sort them all out. 

Hopefully in a few weeks we should be enjoying our own eggs again. 

I've missed having hens about, and cockerel is just delighted to be back in charge on his own patch again.

This is all of them this morning after their first night together!
How can I tell that he's a happy camper? that hen.
 Three of our four new hens have been named, Betty, Bluebell and Ginger.
Please leave a comment with your suggestion for the fourth hen (she's the top one in the picture of the two Rhode Island hybrid red hens) 

Actually, by rights Cockerel is no longer an accurate name for himself, as a cockerel is under a year old. 
So if anyone wants to suggest a name for him........(this could be good)


  1. Ha, your tail down-tail up photo made me laugh! Think it applies to human boys too!
    Thanks to you, I am now singing that song to myself, and it will probably be on my internal jukebox all day!
    I thought of Rita for the hen (after gorgeous redhead Rita Hayworth), will have to get back to you for a rooster name... Russell maybe (after Russell Crow... geddit?! I'll get me coat.) xxx

    1. Our two lovely ducks that the fox took were called George Clooney and Girlfriend. He was the most handsome duck you ever saw.

      I showed Little Bee a picture of the real George Clooney to show her how good looking he was - she wasn't too impressed and thought our webbed foot George Clooney was far more attractive.

      (I'm tickled with Russell Crow, but Little Bee is going to do the deciding when she gets home from school.)

  2. I grew up in sweet farm country but now live in the big bad city so I especially love your blog as it reminds me of my rural days :) As for the hen, she looks like a Rosy to me, an average name I know. But she looks like a Rosy. As for your rooster we used to have a similar character that we named BMOC which is American college slang for "Big Man On Campus" the most studly guy at school. I 'm sure the very creative Little Bee will come up with something clever.

  3. As soon as I saw her face the name Dotty came to mind, not very inventive but I've always wanted a hen to call Dotty as I think it would possibly be a very dotty hen indeed.

    Its nice to see that its not just the human male who shows his happiness in such a way!! Gave me a good chuckle and I have to say on seeing that photo I think a good name for such a 'fun' loving rooster would be Randy Rooster xx

  4. He definitely looks a perkier chap! The photos made me chuckle actually and also Rebecca's comment too!

  5. I think the cockerel should be called Lovey Dovey (even though he's not a dove) and the little hen could be Little Miss. No reasons for these names - they just appeared out of the blue!
    Love from Mum

  6. I alway think hens should have old lady names, you know ethel, mabel that kind of thing! I do like penny for kid rhyming purposes but it might be bad luck considering the ending if henny-penny!

  7. Roger? Sorry for being so obvious and so lacking in taste! I agree with you about photographing hens - especially the young ones. I think it gets easier as they get older - probably because they can't move so fast!

    Pomona x

  8. awww! they're class! my suggestion is Susan for the hen and Phillip for the Rooster x

  9. Oooh I'm so sorry to hear about your hens, but your new ones are lovely, and I'm so happy Mr Stud is all perky again - your way of telling the story with the photos is hilarious! Thanks for sharing. :)

  10. awww poor your cockerel! lovely to see hes happy again tho :) your new hens are really sweet - enjoy having fresh eggs again! x


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