Sunday, June 10, 2012

All about the hens

Life this week has been all about the hens. Hagos and I are on rota, which means I get up in the morning, feed the cat, fill my watering can with water and head over to the hen house. I can hear them all clucking and bokking away before I've even opened up their door. Then, as I try to fill their bowls with water and food I get surrounded by them, pecking at my wellingtons and jacket and fingers and rings, and even my pyjamas have been plucked at. 
I've been making an effort to touch them all this week, as they're getting used to us all now, and as they are so curious and come so close. When I put out my hand to touch them, though, they stop dead and do a kind of squat on the ground, then I can stroke their backs (not sure if they like being touched; their feathers feel lovely and smooth) and it makes it easier to pick them up. 
And we've been rewarded by two small eggs each day. It's still thrilling every time I open up the hatching box and see an egg. I love it when the egg is still warm!
Midweek we had a normal-sized egg and when we had it for lunch yesterday it turned out to be a double-yolker! 
Poached egg on toast is one of my favourite lunches.

The hens are a thousand times more endearing than I expected them to be. The speckledy hens are probably the most boisterous, running over to be in the midst of any action. Bow, the bluebell, likes eating, and can still be found at the food bowl long after the others have lost interest. I know the whites least of all but I've noticed this week that they love digging when I let them out to free-range. Arrow has recently recovered from being unwell so I try to give her extra attention away from the others.
Meg, of course, is still top cat/top chicken. This morning she jumped up onto the kitchen table when I was halfway through breakfast, eyed my lap nonchalantly, then put one little paw onto my knee. I can never resist her, so I had to sit back and let her climb onto me and sleep for half an hour. Sometimes I'm so soft I sit for an hour or two just cuddling her because I know she likes it.

Animals are the best.

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