Oh, this was hard – I just received a mail from a lovely caterer that I know locally. She’s trying to help re-home some ex Battery Hens. I’ve never discussed chickens with her so I’m guessing she just did a huge shout out.
I would love to help out but I really don’t think my coop is large enough for more hens – so please spread the news and let’s see if we can save some hens.
So it was back to the trusty old web to find somewhere that had Point of Lay chickens in stock.
I needed Point of Lay as I was ready (i.e. impatient) to get going. A lot of my friends thought I’d get small chicks and raise them but I realised that would involve more investment, both in time and money. Plus of course, I’d have to wait longer for eggs.
I also needed small to medium sized hens. The coop I had wasn’t huge and so I couldn’t cope with the larger breeds such as Orpingtons. I’d also learnt that hybrid hens have more of a tendency to go broody. This is fantastic if you have a cockerel and want to breed chicks but that was definitely not in my plans, so having a chicken sitting on the nest for weeks on end was not a good option. So I was aiming for hybrids.
I did wonder about getting Battery hens – it seemed like a great caring option. However, it also seemed riskier – they’d need more care and attention and I just wasn’t sure I was ready for that. Maybe next time.
So we called two local poultry farms and found that they both had a small selection. It’s a bit too early in the season for much choice. I was very tempted by some from the Rare Breed farm but my husband had spoken to Shelley at Race Farm Poultry and she was so helpful that I headed in that direction.
Despite the cold and wind Shelley took the time to show us around all her hens. They were gorgeous – from fluffy Silkies to large Orpingtons we wanted to take them all home! Unfortunately, the only two available were Amberlinks (White) and Gingernut Ranger (Ginger!). So after a little running about the pens, Shelly managed to get us one of each.
We had hens! Meet Ginny (Ginger) and Luna (White)…