Sunday, 6 April 2014

Designer Chickens.


                                  

Asthmatic Richard has sadly died, so we are now down to just one hen; the very friendly, and regular egg-laying, Richard.

I've always wanted a small flock of black chickens; I just happen to think they look beautiful, especially with their bright red combs.

Our surviving Richard is almost past her sell-by date and probably needs to be replaced. By chance we've found a lady who can provide us with a few 'point-of-lay' hens in about 3 months time, and, heaven be praised, she even has black ones.

I've attempted to buy black hens ever since my very first foray into farmyard fowl, but somehow it never happened. This time I'm insisting that it will.

Designer hens? Yes, I suppose so. Maybe it's because I tend to wear black myself; but without the Phrygian Cap.

They should arrive around Pentecost (whatever that is!).


31 comments:

  1. I do like the idea of black chickens my good man, and indeed being topped with their red combs they do look the part.

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  2. They are pretty! What color eggs do they lay?

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    Replies
    1. No idea; I'll let you know in 3 months time!

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  3. Very handsome birds! They're not Orpingtons, perchance? Orpingtons are lovely placid birds.

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    1. It would be nice if they were. The lady I've ordered them from just said they were black; I didn't enquire further. I WILL do when I see her.

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  4. They do look rather good.
    Our ex-battery girls are great layers and are nice little characters to have around, but I am thinking about getting some Rhode Island Reds; apparently they are very good at clearing the ground...I thought that with some temporary fencing we could move them around and let them clear the vegetable beds, etc. It's either that, or train the grandchildren to do the clearing.

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    Replies
    1. When I was small, my people had Rhode Islands and Sussex Whites. Both lovely hens.

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  5. Shame about asthmatic Richard - your remaining Richard will be feeling a little lonely without her I should think. The hens in the picture look like they have a brown sheen on them couldn't say what breed though - most are hybrids these days.

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    1. Remaining Richard has become very friendly since her friend died; I'm having to be a surrogate hen until the others arrive. The picture above was just to illustrate a point. Mine could be totally different.

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  6. I have four black girls.....and they are robust big boned hens, with good natures.......enjoy

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    1. I have a black girl as well but she is tall and skinny. She's a good layer though.

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  7. They look like Black Rocks - I used to have a little flock. They were always friendly and I loved them but they did not produce enough eggs to satisfy the farmer, who goes more for production than looks! (hope he didn't apply that to me when we met!!)

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    Replies
    1. We're getting 6, so even if they're not too productive, we should have enough. I'll have to ask her what breed they are.

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  8. I just stopped myself from a terrible joke.

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  9. The ones I am waiting for are Hy Line Browns, a hybrid originally from Australia. I don't think they are black.

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  10. I would go back to Bantams. The first hens I ever owned and I was nine years old. They were great little birds and could hide eggs until they cracked. I clipped their wings but still had to get a stick to get them out of the apple trees every night. They did used to fight amongst themselves. I just solved the problem by collecting eggs quicker and wringing the necks of cockerels when they got to a five to one ratio. The old cock was hellish fast he could climb my trousers and try to use his spurs on my tummy or face. I loved him. His name was Earnest. He had to go when he attacked my dad.
    Black looks good. I think those lay blue eggs which has a certain novelty value.

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  11. When your blog came up, I was arrested by the sight of those four black hens. Very artistic.
    Absolutely - get the black!

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    Replies
    1. They look wonderful just wandering around on the lawn.

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  12. I once acquired a cat for his looks. He was such a coward he stayed in the back corner of my closet; I might as well not have him. I think he died of fright, about a year ago. Like my cat, your hens won't know you bought them for looks, so they surely will do whatever they are capable of. You might sternly advise them, "I bought you for looks and eggs!"

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  13. They are indeed stunning that black flock. Our own chickens are so common. In-bred. cross-bred, re-bred. We have white brown, beige and blue eggs and yet the yolks are always BRIGHT orange due to the fact they eat the same feed...free range everything! Maintain your high yet sometimes, fowl, standards, Cro. That's why we all love you

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  14. oh they look lovely. I would be interested in the breed. On my small holding course we are next covering chickens and water fowl. I haven't a clue what breed we will get but I saw some lovely Ohikue bantams (I don't know the spelling sorry). they were real stunners. I would have liked some of those but the lady showing them said they are terrible and eat their own eggs more times than not.

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  15. just had a quick look in my book, could they be Astralorp? They have fluffy thighs

    http://www.backyardchickens.com/products/australorp

    http://www.cacklehatchery.com/baustralorppage.html

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    Replies
    1. Those Australorp hens look beautiful; just what I'm after!!!

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  16. I don't blame you for wanting these, Cro...they're just beautiful!

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  17. Our black hens are black marans. they have a lovely petroleum slick sheen to them and lay a light brown egg of good size.

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    Replies
    1. I have a friend who had these.... very attractive hens.

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  18. In the fourty years of raising hens we have always had several austrolorps and they prove to be the best, very gentle and easy going.

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