Friday, 11 August 2017

Chicken Stocktake 2017

I try at least once a year to do a Chicken Stocktake, mostly to fix in my head the numbers and types of our ever changing flock of chickens.  The old girls die, youngsters are born or accidents happen like last weeks and we lose a girl suddenly.

Some good news to share with you all is that we got one of our stolen girls back :-)

She had been chucked over the hedge into a field of sheep and one of our neighbours spotted her fending for herself and let us know.  It took Alan literally two minutes to catch her and bring her home ... where she got stuck into the Layers Pellets like a thing possessed.

So with her return to the flock it seemed like a good time to do this years stocktake.

Heading his harem of lovely ladies is Jack, the Lavender Pekin Bantam cockerel,  who is now a magnificent mature specimen of miniature manhood.

Once again, thank goodness, we have four 'Green Girls'.

We have four 'Blue Girls'. they are named as such from the bands on their legs, so we can remember when we bought them, although in this instance the purchases were only two weeks apart. 

These are all Calder Rangers.

We have one Light Sussex cross.

We have two older Calder Rangers.

Our older girl is Harriet the Light Sussex, she's approximately six years old now.

There is Jack's sister Jill.

We have one remaining Skyline, our blue egg layer.

We have two of last years 'Welsh Girls'.

We also have Poppy, another Lavender Pekin Bantam and one of our original girls, born way back in 2011.

There is one Large Black Maran left from 'The Gang', and she is feeling very sorry for herself with her sister and best friend gone.

And last but not least, there is Ebony, the Black Pekin Bantam, usually to be found in the nesting boxes ... she not particularly broody, but just likes her own company most of the time.

And that completes this years stocktake -

1 cockerel
3 Pekin Bantams
16 large chickens
(of which 12 are regular layers)

And after munching their way through lots of spinach leaves while I got these photos, the chickens all then trooped back off into the woods to carry on with their chickeny business for the day.

Sue xx


  1. So glad one girl is home again. What a lovely flock you have. How many eggs to they give you each day?
    J x

    1. At the moment we are averaging about nine eggs a day from the twelve girls that are still in lay. The Pekin Bantams only lay for about six weeks or so in Spring. We don't push them to lay more than that.

  2. How lovely, i love chickens my parents only have 3 girls but what fun they bring them, and what characters they all have :) i cant wait to move back home and have my own some day xx

  3. You have a very varied and very healthy looking flock there. I think 6 years old is a marvellous age. The oldest hen I have ever had was nearly 4 years old. Unfortunately my favourite hybrids don't tend to live that long as they are just bred for commercial egg laying thus resulting in internal problems - poor things. Do you ever worry about them going into the woods, do you not have foxes during the daytime? So glad you got one of the stolen girls back home where she belongs.

    1. No we don't worry about them going into the woods, the bit they go into is between our land and our neighbours and they are in a smallish area compared to the rest of our woodland, but one where they can forage and do all the things that wild birds would do. I think better a life lived doing what comes naturally than one led captive and unhappy.

      We have made their enclosure as fox proof as is physically possible so they are safe at night, but we have only ever seen one fox in the four years we have been here and that was on the far reaches of our land, the dogs scared it off and that has been it. We are not complacent though and do regularly check for activity.

  4. It's a bit scary to think there are thieves about in the countryside. No place is safe these days.

  5. I would really love some hens when we move.

  6. Gosh that is amazing only seeing one fox in 4 years. We have seen them asleep in our next door neighbours garden (and we live in Stockport). I have also seen them running across the busy road in broad daylight. Seems we have more urban foxes than rural foxes. Your girls certainly have an idyllic life and it's wonderful that they are able to have that freedom.

  7. Reading about chicken flocks is a calming thing for me, and a secret interest in a way - one doesn't typically tell others how many blogs with chickens they somehow managed to stumble upon and follow!!

  8. Hi Sue.. just back to blogging. I'm glad you've found one of your girls, you have a lovely little flock there. Jack is a handsome boy, you're so lucky to have a cockerel, we'd love one but can't where we live.

  9. My little friend Liam who is seven and is here looking at your hens, has just written all their names down. His favourites are Jack and Jill (because they thyme.)

  10. What lovely healthy looking chickens! They are beauties.

  11. That's the perfect post for me! I'm thinking of adding to my flock, so I might look out for some of those, especially the 'Welsh girls' .... An appropriate choice for us. Great to see what our little cockerel will grow into as he is also a lavender Peking.


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