We went and picked up four more new chickens the other day, we needed to as we lost two of our layers last week. Well sadly we lost three of our girls in one fell swoop but the large Black Maran's laying days were behind her. We don't know what happened but I have a sneaking suspicion that they were stolen :-(
The mystery started with one of our huge Black Marans being spotted absolutely flattened on the road by our neighbour as she walked back to her house after visiting us to buy some eggs. She thought it was her black cat and telephoned asking if we would go and have a look for her as it was in a very dangerous spot near the corner. We did and realised what it was at once thanks to the very large white legs and feet still being recognisable.
Later that day I realised that two more of our birds were missing, one of the new 'Green Girls' and one of last years 'Welsh girls'. The mystery deepened but putting two and two together and wearing my very best Miss Marple hat ... I much prefer that to a deerstalker ... I have concluded that if I were stealing myself a little flock of hens I too would choose one black, one brown and one a nicely co-ordinating black and brown. But I would not take such a huge bird that as I was crossing the road it would easily struggle free and unfortunately get splattered by a passing car or truck.
I am making quite light of it, I need to if I want to retain what little sanity I have left, but it's hard to lose three of our girls, especially my lovely little new girl who was the sweetest of the quartet.
So now we also have in residence over in Chicken World the 'Blue Girls' ... four more Calder Rangers. Bringing our numbers back up to eighteen girls and Jack the cockerel .... who once again immediately set to making his newest wives very welcome.
Also over in Chicken World, the apple trees are looking wonderful, and I couldn't resist snapping off a few photos while I was there.
The apples are turning rosy red and filling out nicely on the branches, with the occasional windfall making a very nice snack for the chickens.
The trees are literally dripping with apples, the more you look the more you see.
Lovely and red and just asking to be picked, and they are ... frequently.
It's nice to grab one for an impromptu snack after cleaning out the henhouse or when I'm on the way over to the polytunnel.
Also filling out nicely are the cooking apples, and I can see a freezer full of apple slices, crumbles and pies coming up in the next few months after a bit of work in the kitchen.