We’re getting some hens.
This has been a long time coming, and a step I didn’t originally expect to be able to take until we moved out of London, but we have the right amount of space and a secure enough back garden to make the next key step in taking responsibility for the food we eat.
It’s been talked about ever since we moved here, and we have the OK from the landlord, the council and our neighbours both sides. Now we are both working again, we can afford to buy all the things needed for the set-up – decent housing, feeders, drinkers, treatments, grits and so forth.
Once all the kit is in place, we can get the birds. I’ve put a lot of thought into this, and will be getting pure breed birds as opposed to the modern commercial hybrids, which are so often recommended. Part of my decision can be explained by the words that precede hybrid – modern, as in little or no history to them, and commercial, as in produced on a large scale by one company, with volume as opposed to quality as the target.
I’d much rather have birds with years of careful breeding behind them, that lay reasonably well over a few years, rather than pay for a copyrighted cross that lays high volumes for a year or so then keels over and needs replacing.
I’d like to get breeds that each lay a different coloured egg, so I can tell whose laying and how often, and if needs be, which hens appear to have problems. They won’t start laying eggs immediately, as I’ll be buying “Point of Lay” – hens that are just reaching maturity and ready to start laying, plus they will need to be settled in their new surroundings first of all.
Yes, there’s plenty to learn, but I know I can get support if needed and hopefully will be able to pass on the knowledge I gain.
And make exceedingly good cakes.