Tuesday, 30 October 2007

2. I didn't know you were serious!

Rewind to May 2007.

Having been retired for a year, at that point, I was ready to get serious about getting chooks. I did a little bit of research, and decided to visit The Wernlas Collection in Ludlow, to see lots of breeds in one place and to talk to the experts. This coincided with a visit to my inlaws, so DH was okay about it. (http://www.wernlas.com/)

When we were pulling up to the place I "reassured" my DH that I wasn't planning to buy any hens that day, I just wanted to have a look and find out whether what I pictured when I thought about keeping hens was realistic. Far from being reassured, my husband was taken aback. He hadn't realised that I meant it when I said I wanted to keep chickens.

So we sat in the car, and I told him what I pictured (two or three hens, pecking around the garden). It turned out that when he thought of chicken keeping, he pictured a kind of shed, with lots of chickens in. He was adamant that it wasn't possible to keep chickens in a garden.

Anyway, we had a look round at the chooks, and I had my heart set on Silkies. Seeing all those breeds reinforced for me that I wanted Silkies, and I eagerly chatted to the expert lady. She immediately explained that Silkies don't make good first time hens. They have a tendency to go broody, and they aren't reliable layers. She told me which breeds might be suitable, and I wrote it down. I asked lots of questions, realised that I couldn't have them pecking round the garden unless we were actually in the garden (foxes), and so on. DH asked questions too. Despite this, he was still not a happy bunny.

I then started to explore chicken houses, and came across the Eglu and the Cube. I arranged to go and see a lady in Oxford who had both, as I felt confident that seeing chooks in a garden and talking to someone who kept a few chooks would put DH's mind at rest.

The visit was great. We talked about it afterwards, and agreed that a Cube would be the better option. He seemed to have come around to the idea.

I then started to do lots of research, looking at breeds, characteristics, studying the posts on the Omlet forum to see what the day to day reality of keeping chickens was going to be like. DH didn't show any interest in what I was discovering, so I just kept it to myself. I went through lots of learning, had picked the names for my chooks, and had decided on four breeds. The names matched the breeds perfectly.

What I didn't realise is that as I was going through this learning process and making my "decisions", my DH's lack of interest meant he was not coming on the journey with me. It came out rather unfortunately when we were out at lunch with our darliing son and his wife.


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