Well they have finally arrived!
May I introduce you to three new members of the Hotchpotch household.
They are battery rescue hens but have been living in a barn for a few weeks so don't look nearly as bad as I thought they would.
They have been with us now exactly two weeks and are settling in really well. Even in such a short space of time they are looking so much better, their combs have started to colour up as they were very pale when they first arrived and their missing feathers are just starting to grow back.
This is Bob, little H's hen. I have no idea why he chose this name but has stuck with it since we talked about getting chickens yonks ago so Bob it is.
She is a funny old girl, quite timid and doesn't really like to be handled.
she prefers to have a nest box to herself and perches perilously close to the edge and combined with the slight rocking motion looks in danger of falling off.
This is Hirsty, Mr. H's hen and named after his footballing idol David Hirst.
She is the pretties one of the lot and definitely the friendliest, she's forever around your feet and loves to be stroked.
I'm secretly wishing I had picked her now!
....and last but not least my girl,Dame Judi named after the lovely Judi Dench who I adore.
she is the ugliest and scrawniest of the lot,(Obviously no reflection on the real Dame Judi) most of the feathers around her neck and chest were missing when she arrived but they are starting to grow back and she has the most comical clump of feathers growing back, which makes her look as though she's sporting a badly fitting toupe!
She is the first one out of the shed every morning and always ready to make her escape given half a chance, she hates being handled and no way will she let you stroke her she's also the most destructive... trust me to pick the most badly behaved bird!
We didn't manage to get the run made in time for their arrival due to the appalling weather but Mr. H managed to get the shed ready which as it turns out wasn't in as good a condition as we thought and in fact had a whopping great hole at the back which we had failed to noticed because of all the junk we had piled in, but with a few bits of old wood and a few nails here and there they had somewhere cozy to spend their first night.
We managed to build the run between the showers the day after they arrived and although it needs a little fine tuning it's secure enough to be able to leave them out during the day while we are at work.
I'm thinking some sort of roof would be a good idea as it's a complete mud bath up there at the moment with all this rain we've been having.
Still not sure how Brucie feels about their arrival, he doesn't appear to be aggressive towards them and there has been no showing of the teeth, although I'm sure Iv'e seen him licking his lips!!!
They have been a great addition to our family albeit a lot dirtier and untidy than I thought - not to mention the smell and the (how shall I put it politely?) manure, they are actually like babies and spend all day eating drinking and producing copious amounts of poo!
Despite all this I still look forward to getting up each morning to feed and water them (actually Mr. H does this) and to check the nest boxes for eggs. So far we have been getting an egg each day which is perfect for us and yesterday I was able to give our lovely neighbours some for their breakfast.
As for the poo I'm sure our compost bins will be all the better for it!
and it's such a good eggscuse to do a bit of baking!!!