The eggs are rolling in. After a long, chill winter our feathered girls are doing themselves proud.
Even the velociraptors are producing. We were given Jekyll and Hyde last year; they were meant to be hens but clearly are straight out of Jurassic Park. Highly evolved killing machines, those two.
They cluck, and peck around, but always, they watch you with sharp, cold eyes. If they get out, the vegetables are doomed.
Otherwise, our chickens are very well behaved. Jekyll and her sister are light breeds, they fly the coop more often and just seem to have more rat-like cunning than is seemly.
The other girls are “proper jobs” – good, old fashioned Rhode Island Reds, Silver Wyandottes and a Buff Orpington. They lay eggs and one day, if we ever got around to it, it’s said we can eat them. Perish the thought.
The other day, filled with the delights of Spring, I called to the family – “Party in the hen house!” and sped out there with garden forks, a couple of forks and the iPod.
Before they knew what had hit them, the daughter and the husband were digging into the soil and working up a sweat.
We have a lovely hen house, tile roof, nice comfy nesting boxes, concrete floor, running water and a fine bucolic lookout. The run itself is large, and divided into two parts, so one half can recover and regrass in henny treats.
And I have a packet of herbal Ley, bought from Kings Seeds not that long ago. Inside my 250g pack are the seeds of dill, caraway, seven types of chicory, alfalfa and much more. I’m sure some of the contents will make my hens purr.
So, while David Bowie sang Golden Years and the velociraptors watched and made fiendish plots (along the lines of killing us and making for the brassicas) we dug over half of the run. It was a rough job, just enough so that when the seed lands it will be able to find a home.
Then, within weeks, I think the hens will agree it was all worth it.
In the meantime, I have to keep collecting eggs and telling my hens how clever they are. Even Jekyll and Hyde.