Welcome back to Bruntonia!
With mine and Brunton number one’s holiday in Cornwall, a graduation, and the husband moving house, it’s been a bit busy for blog posts. There are plenty more in the pipeline – an update on the elderflower wine, sourdough, strawberry wine and cake are all being drafted up, as well as the delicious veg we’ve started to get coming out of Pa’s allotment. However, for now, it is time for an update on the Brunton chicks.
Long time no see, huh?
So the last time we saw the chickens they’d just moved to their outside run… learned how to escape from their outside run, and couldn’t even cluck yet. We now have four fully clucking, clipped winged, egg laying hens.
The wing clipping became something of a necessity – they were finding more and more inventive ways to escape, and we couldn’t guarantee their safety. In terms of wing clipping, there’s plenty of advice out there on how to do it. Done wrong, you can seriously harm your birds – when feathers first come through they still have a blood supply (flagged up by the pinkness in the base of the feather usually) and cutting a feather at this stage can cause you bird a great deal of distress and bleeding. Don’t do this if you don’t know what you are doing. I would emphasise that Pa Brunton grew up on a chicken farm and has at least a little bit of a clue, (although don’t tell him I said that) so we did it ourselves at home. Otherwise, get a vet to come out.
They soon settled down to life inside the run, and have even settled enough to start laying delicious, but ping pong ball sized eggs! Now that all four are laying and definitely not roosters (and therefore definitely not for dinner) they get individual mugshots. Aristotle is the big grey lady – she is what you would politely call a bit dim. More accurately you would say she is the retard of the flock. This bird still cannot get her head around why she can see things on the other side of the chicken wire and still not walk through it. Ginger Frank is by far the most inquisitive, and despite being a bit of a runt, (and ginger) she holds her own with the others, and lays pretty well. Black and White Frank (so named because as chicks one was pure black, one had white markings, although not so now!) are the bigger of the copper marans. White Frank started laying ridiculously early and is the most consistent layer of the lot. Black Frank started a little later but has really got into her stride now, and suffice to say that retard chicken Aristotle is still way behind and occasionally lays soft eggs with no shells. It’s as weird as it sounds and apparently totally normal. Go figure.
So that’s the latest on our feathered ladies – the eggs are delicious – richer and better in consistency than shop-bought and have already contributed towards plenty of cake. They are also surprisingly different coloured – to do with being a hybrid breed I think, but it means that we know roughly which ones are laying, and which are having a bit of time off 😉 More updates to come when I have time to post on all the delicious things we’re making with the eggs!