Monday, May 07, 2007

The wonders of nature

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!


Alison said...

looks like you had a great day Lisa.
I have tagged you.
'Seven weird things about me' hope you don’t mind…you don’t have to do it as it as it is only a bit of fun. I had trouble choosing just seven!!
Take care,
Alison x.

Ragged Roses said...

Those chicks sound wonderful - more photos please!
Kim x

Samantha said...

Those chicks are adorable - well done mum!

Marie said...

How delightful! Mother hen looks proud of her work.

It looks like you had a good day out.

Marie x

Sarah said...

I loved that post!!!

Such fab chickens!!!! It is a shame that the Sheep don't raise as much.....

Looking forward to more photo's!!!

Nonnie said...

So pleased to hear the chicks have hatched. Looking forward to lots of cute fluffy pictures. The auction sounds really interesting.

Tracy said...

Your post today has filled my heart will joy!!!
I can see from your photos why we are selling and making the move to Scotland - all those animals xxxx
It is quite good in a way that the chickens are so expensive - it will mean that i will never come back with a car full!
Sheep prices have been low around here for some time - as you say it does not seem right - our world has gone mad.
Have a great week with those darling chicks (no work will be done at your house this week!)
Tracy x

Forgetmenot said...

I have to agree with you, that is far too much money for a chicken. We have ordered some cream legbars from Kintaline, hopefully less expensive! Your chicks look just adorable, are they all marans? hope you don't get too many cockerels!

carolyn said...

Oh my goodness £45 for a chicken, Our ex batteries were 50p each! Should I be breeding legbars, BTY before we decided on the ex batteries it was Coswold Legbars that I wanted, yes for the blue eggs.
Now at around 4 quid each I wonder how many sheep I fit on the lawn?
Congrats on your chicks, they are adoable aren't they. Actuallu we once had some fall in the loo and I was advised to warm them up in my bra but that is another story.

Primrose Hill said...

The chicks are doing great, they ventured out for the first time today, they're getting quite confident now, jumping about on mums back!
More photos will follow!
We think that they are 2 maran cross welsummer (2 little black ones) and the other 7 are pure welsummer, hopefully not too many of them will be cockerels!
Forget-me-not, I looked at the Kintalin site the other night, I think POL's were £25 each? Friends and family have tried to get chickens from them preciously but had a bit of a fruitless wait? Hope you're more successful.
Carolyn, I quite fancy them for the blue eggs too, then our boxes of eggs will have a full variety of colours, our customers will love it. I also think they are really good looking hens, my uncle is breeding them for himself at the moment and possible to sell too. He has a cockerel for us so I'm going to try hatching some more eggs this summer. I'd love to breed them too, chicken breeding runs in our family.
You'll have to tell us the story of the cicks ending up down the loo!
L x

Anonymous said...

Well, your last post certainly ruffled a few feathers. The debate strawberry picking invites!
Really liked the pictures of the market you were at, at the weekend. My dad used to take me to the market when I was younger, he would put us in the pen with the lambs and they used to suck your fingers. It was so cute. Loved the cattle section also, my favourite being the highland cow, my dad would love one of those.
Well, I'm having a day in the house today as it is raining quite heavy here. Got a few wedding things to be getting on with, it seems to be coming round so quickly now!
Looking forward to your next post.


Lesley said...

How exciting and so very, very cute!! I can't believe that you can buy a sheep for £4! That's incredible.

weirdbunny said...

So if you get lots of cockerels will you eat them ?

The thing is with pigs you need to get three. Then when you get some one to slaughter them you can give him one pig as payment. The your left with two. The person you get to butcher them can then have one as paymnet, then your left with one yours. - love Julia x