Every box of eggs we sell in the run up to Easter will be accompanied by one of these ladies, guarding their clutch.
Keeping the chux in during the avian flu scare has been hard for all of us. The one benefit is that the girls have had to lay in the nest boxes so we’ve been able to collect all the eggs without every day turning into an egg hunt.
Once the restrictions are over, we’ll need to turn our attention to isolating Bilbo and his girls so we can collect hatching eggs. We didn’t breed any chicks last year as 2015’s bumper ‘crop’ of 13 out of 14 incubated eggs caught us on the hop so we were pretty close to the limit when we have to notify DEFRA and become ‘official’. This time we think we’ll only do four French Copper Marans and three Cream Legbar or vice versa.
Happy New Year everyone! And it’s got off to a good start as the girls have so far laid 8 eggs, their best effort since 5th October. They’re still upset about being kept in the pen due to the avian flu threat but only another week to go unless DEFRA extend the measures.
Said farewell to one of my Legbar boys today. Although I purposely didn’t name last year’s hatchees as I knew I was putting them up for sale, I always referred to him as Berry as elderberries are his favourite thing in the world. He’s gone to join his brother ‘Shy Boy’ (there I go again!) on a farm near Pwllhelli. I didn’t charge his new owner as when she bought Shy Boy I said she could have one of his brothers for free. Today we also handed over 6 blue eggs, gratis, to our neighbours for hatching. Our plan to sell eggs on-line hasn’t gone to plan as the girls have hardly been laying, but if our neighbours benefit then there has been a positive outcome. In the past few weeks, people have done us favours so it’s time to pay it forward.
Today we set our first batch of eggs of the year, Cream Legbars. It’s always a nervy time, making sure all the incubator settings are correct, nervously listening out for the whirring as the eggs turn every 45 mins as the incubator has failed in the past, keeping the room to a steady temperature. At the same time we had “the changeover”; the Legbars were let our of the Eglu and the French Copper Black Marans went in instead. The Legbars seem happy to be free except that Bluey, our Blue Legbar, tries to beat them up at any opportunity. Hopefully she’ll get fed up with that very, very soon. Chico is slowly starting to forgive me but Bilbo and his girls now hate me. Roll on Easter!
I kept the chux in this morning as several were still laying so Jon released them from the pen when he returned from walking the dogs. He noticed one of the Cuckoo Marans running in the opposite direction so followed her. She headed straight for a nest containing 15 eggs! Given that they havevn’t been allowed out every day due to the bad weather, we had to bin the lot as we didn’t know how old they were 😦