And Meet the Sussexes!
So, the result from letting a broody hen sit on 12 fertilised eggs has resulted in one chick, named Harvey.
Hatching day was one big disaster and very distressing too as on Sunday we could hear peeping from some of the remaining 5 eggs and were very hopeful of welcoming 5 chicks. Sadly it was not to be; 2 eggs never hatched, mother hen trampled a newly hatched chick (extremely distressing), one egg was rotten and one egg was missing! Turns out that she had also managed to dump one chick half a meter down onto the ground from the nest.
And that’s how we found poor Harvey; all cold and wet and lying on his back with evil mum looming over him.
Then when he was just 2 days old, we checked up on him and his ‘mum’.
Mum got all stressed because she couldn’t find him, so she started calling for him while turning around fast looking for him. We saw that Harvey was stuck in her wing and that he was being flung around too! Through the coop and even through the water bowl! We also panicked, but thankfully at some point he fell out and everything calmed down again.
I guess that was Harvey’s first go on the merry-go-round, or should I say: Harvey-go-round?!
Fast forward 3 weeks and he is growing into a bold, little rascal:
One afternoon we were enjoying a glass of wine in the last of the summer's sun when we heard mother hen making a ruckus and very loud peeps coming from Harvey. Turns out evil mum had been digging a tunnel underneath the fence and Harvey escaped to the other side where the Decibels (our 3 mature chickens) had been eyeing him up, no doubt with sinister plans on their minds!
Thankfully we weren't that tipsy that we couldn't save him, but it was a very close call. I think the Decibels were that perplexed that they didn’t know what to do about this little intruder.
JP and I are smitten with ‘our’ wee Harvey and are spoiling him rotten; he already runs to the door when he sees us and eats from our hands. And when he is older, he gets to meet the girls, lucky him!
Meet the Sussexes!
After the failure of losing 11 out of 12 eggs, we still wanted to increase our flock of chickens, so we decided to spend some money and get 6 fancy, pure breed Light Sussex hens.
They are truly beautiful chickens with black tails and a speckled collar.
They also have a very calm and placid nature, so are good for introducing to existing flocks.
Mind you, the Decibels (our mature black Daisybell chickens) are not impressed and are bullying them a little. This is normal behaviour as they need to establish a pecking order, it's not nice, but it is nature and as long as the pecking stops when they run away and as long as all can access food and water, then you'll have to let them do their thing. During their first week one of the new ones had a little scare too; when coming home from the shop I found one stuck between the water butt and the shed! I don’t know how long she had been stuck, but with superhero power I managed to move the 200kg heavy water butt a little bit, so that I could lift her out.
Thankfully, she wasn’t hurt.
The summer has been very dry and I had to water a lot of the vegetables (until today when it is chucking it down). We keep several 20 litre drums filled with water handy in case our water butts go empty and that really helps saving tap water. Occasionally I have these 20 litre drums in the shop (they are the Bio D containers for refilling), so if you would like these too as extra water storage, please check if we have any and I am more than happy to give them to you.
This year I have grown yellow courgettes and purple French beans, which combined with red tomatoes and a green cucumber made a very colourful basket!