Don't you just think that nature is a wonderful thing? Yesterday was the big day, 21 days ago we'd sat our broody maran on a selection of 10 eggs in the hope that they would hatch in to little chicks. She has sat on those eggs religiously turning them and keeping them warm.
Gregg had popped out first thing to check but could hear no cheeps, I went out at 11am, lifted the chicken up and there facing me, cheep, cheeping away was a pile of fluffy chicks! 9 out of the 10 eggs hatched, the 10th chick had made it half way out of the shell but unfortunately had been squashed, survival of the fittest as they say. Today they are running around inside the little hen house, they've been shown by their mother to eat the chick crumbs and drink water so fingers crossed they will all grow into healthy chickens ( or possibly cockerels!). Maybe tomorrow they will venture out on the grass, lots of photos to follow I think!!!
Our day at the Rare Breeds sale on Saturday was enjoyable although the chickens were going for ridiculous amounts of money, I was outbid on everything so came home empty handed. Chicken keeping seems to be quite fashionable at the moment, certain breeds were reaching £45 per chicken?!!! One breed in particular, the cream legbar, was proving to be very popular, all because they lay a blue egg! They were actually the chickens that I was after, but luckily my uncle keeps them so we'll be trying to hatch some of our own this summer.
We also watched the livestock auction, cattle, sheep, pigs and goats. Seeing the piglets was interesting, there were Gloucestershire Old Spots, Great Blacks and Tamworths, all tiny little things squealing away. Gregg did pose the question " so if we do get a couple of weaners are you going to be able to take them to the slaughter house then?", there was a slight hesitation in my answer, but I'm pretty sure I could.
I came away feeling quite sad as some of the sheep weren't even getting as good a price as the chickens, one going for as little as 4 gn (4 guineas = £4.20). An animal that could provide the wool to put clothes on your back and feed a family for at least a couple of weeks was being sold for less than a bird that provides approx. 200 eggs in a year and probably wouldn't feed a family for one night, where is the sense in that?
Anyway, I shall leave you with photos of our proud mum and her chicks and some photos from the market. I really should be getting on with work but I just know I'll have to go and check on the chicks again!