Saturday, 24 January 2009

New girls?

I have been humming and hawing about whether to try and fill the gap left by Scarlett.

It's not a good idea to introduce one new hen, as she will be picked on mercilessly by the existing flock; it's necessary to introduce at least two.

Sometimes I've been thinking it would be a good idea: I could have a white egg layer; it's a better return on assets as the increase in costs is minimal (extra food, bedding and flooring will need to be changed more frequently; more vegetables when they are in their run; more corn)

Sometimes I think it's not a good idea: my current trio seem quite happy (although there is a definite pecking order, which was not the case with my original 3) and I'm concerned about upsetting the balance; there will be more poo; there may be more noise.

Every morning, I thought about possible names. I had the name for the White Ranger fairly quickly, but I was struggling to find a name for a second hen. A few weeks ago, the second name came into my head, and I decided that I would get new girls. I contacted Tracey at the lovely Southmead Poultry to see if she had any White Rangers available. No, all sold, but I could go on the waiting list in case anyone dropped out, or book some from the Feb batch. I went on the wating list.

But then I didn't really want girls in Feb, as I have other plans and wanted to have my new girls settled in already. I'm a fatalist, so I decided if it was meant to be, then Tracey would call to say she had had a cancellation.

Time passed.

Then I received an email saying she unexpectedly had some WHite Rangers available. I was suddently doubting whether I wanted to do this: did I really want to go through the introccuctions again?; I hadn't forewarned DH and I wasn't really looking forward to That Discussion.

Anyhoo. This morning I told him, and we went out into the garden to measure the space in the dormant fruit bed to check that the Eglu would fit there. It wouldn't. (I keep forgetting about the fox resistant skirt, when you've got raspberry canes and blackcurrant bushes, it matters!). Maybe it wasn't meant to be. I'd have to wait until Spring, so that we could put an Eglu on the grass and the grass would be able to recover.

Then DH suggested the vegetabble bed. It was mostly empty, he could level it out for me and we could put the Eglu there. But the ground there would be too soft, a fox could dig underneath? We can put slabs all round.

So, that's it then.

I've left a message for Tracey, just hope I'm not too late.


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