Friday, April 06, 2012

Freedom......2012 Eggs: 127

The chickens have been confined to barracks for a week for their flubenvent treatment to prevent any internal parasites.  They are treated every six months, and I buy the layers pellets already treated with the flubenvent so it's easy peasy.

As soon as I let them out I went to collect the early morning eggs

Willow the white Barbu d'Uccle tends to be a  bit lazy and just lays eggs where she is standing at the time.

Looks like some else is copying her.   I wouldn't mind but there is another egg box just a few inches from where this one was laid in the run!
They didn't waste any time diving into a communal dust bath
 Maudie decided to try pushing Gozzie out - but she's not going to budge!
So Maudie squeezed between Mary the millefleur Sablepoot, Daisy the Pekin bantam - my oldest at 8yrs, and underneath looks like the head of Henrietta my Old English Game bird.
Willow decided that she didn't want to join the scrum for the dust baths - there are lots of places around the garden and she just can't understand why they all the to bathe together.

Dolly (Silkie) Daydream has 'bagged' her  usual place, and no-one dares go near her whilst she is taking a bath and dozing in the sunshine!  She takes a real pride in her appearance, especially her pom pom hair do.

I was watching Escape to the Country yesterday - and they visited a nearby Farm Park, and looked at the chickens.  They asked how long a chicken would live for (as the couple wanted to get some when they moved to the country).  He said several times that 'chickens are funny creatures' when asked how long they live.  In the end he said '2 to 6 years, but they are funny creatures'  

I have bantams with ages ranging from just over a year to 8  years.

You can be unlucky if  you buy some that suddenly die during their first year and breeders will generally offer to replace them if that happens.   I have only experienced it a couple of times over the years with rare breed bantams not long after purchasing them.

But I think that if you keep chickens in a happy and healthy and clean environment, with access to plenty of space, don't over crowd their living conditions, and provide them with a healthy (chicken) diet, and don't feed them too many 'snacks' or any 'human' food then they should live to their full potential age, and not fall foul to any illnesses.

Have you noticed how the number of eggs laid this year so far has rocketed?
I have been getting 6 - 9 a day.  It won't last, as they do go broody, or hide their eggs around the garden, or moult.  But we always have plenty for ourselves and give them away too.

I have started freezing them ready for the winter when we don't have many, and am getting quite a stock of them.

Please excuse any typing errors - I am struggling to type this with my one good eye after an operation.

I'll be getting the other one done on 17th April - when normal service with resume

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