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Alternative Technology and Renewable Energy can be great fun and very rewarding, especially if done at home. On this blog I share my ideas and tips for mainly simple and inexpensive alternative technology projects.

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

A flighty new hen nearly says goodbye!


Our flock of three Black Rock hens has been letting us down on the egg production side recently. They are now into their third year and getting a bit lazy, so we have added two new 20 week old Point of Lay, Bovan Goldline hens from a local supplier in nearby Ardleigh. They have settled in quite well, although one was a little adventurous at first!

I introduced the two new arrivals to the hen house just as it was getting dark and the existing older hens were bedding down to roost for the night. That way there was minimum fuss and henpecking. This all proceeded well and next morning all the hens came down for their breakfast of delicious layers pellets in the safety of their enclosed run area. I left them to it and carried on working in my workshop which faces the garden. After about an hour I spotted one of the new chickens nonchalontly strolling by my door, having escaped from the run. She had flown over the 4 foot high electric fence and was starting to explore. I went after her and she promptly ran into next door's garden. I coaxed her back and left her foraging outside the run, thinking she wouldn't go far from the other hens.

How wrong I was. When I checked the girls an hour later there was absolutely no sign of the escapee. I went to the neighbours and up and down our road but resigned myself to a possible loss. I had not clipped her wings to prevent elevated flight and had been taught a lesson. I posted a couple of "lost chicken" notices on some nearby lamp posts and hoped for some response. That evening, I went down to our local pub for a swift pint and told the story to a few people there. An amiable chap called Ricky, who lives just down the road, told me he had seen her in his garden and I was welcome to have a look around next morning.

In the morning, sure enough, there she was in his garden. I cornered her in the confines of the shed and grabbed her. Back to the chicken run for her, but not before I had clipped back her main flight feathers on one side to restrict her adventures. This is quite painless and does the hen no harm if done carefully. She is now back in the flock and quite happy again. One of our older hens who had not laid for several months has now, ahem........ gone to chicken heaven.

2 Comments:

At 3:48 pm, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm trying to find some Goldlines in this area - can you post the breeders name please?

 
At 10:11 pm, Blogger Nigel said...

Sorry but I can't remember the name, but it was a smallholding farm on the north side of Frating Road, Ardleigh. I did a Google search and only came up with Cotswold Chickens, who I think were suppliers to the Ardleigh business at the time.

 

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