by little red pen
So, this happened. As I write, I am watching my hens fossicking in the grass on the bank. We spent most of the year building a coop and run, by which I mean my father-in-law designed and built it with our help over a couple of visits from Australia and we did bits in between with many phone calls and questions back and forth across the Tasman. We got the hens from HennyPenny, a free-range outfit in Omakau that sells beautiful, healthy Hyline point-of-lay chooks.
We got the girls last weekend and have spent the week getting to know them. They started laying almost the first day, and are now producing an egg or two a day between them. We got three hens: Helen, Angelina and Tilda. Angelina has darker colouring and appears to be the leader of the pack. Tilda is paler and likes to be hand-fed grass. Helen is in-between, and likes to keep her own counsel.
They are doing all the right chicken things: roosting on their perch at night, scratching for bugs, using their nest boxes, dust-bathing and following me back into the coop when I take them their supper. Their eggs are small, brown and really intense. They are spending a lot of time grazing around the berry bushes and they seem fond of rock melon. I stroked them yesterday, and they are soft as silk. And warm. Lovely.