Adventures in Small Scale Farming in an English Cottage Garden with Seasonal Tips and Recipes
Sunday, 24 April 2011
Two New Recruits
I picked up these two new recruits to my increasingly fortress like hen run the other day. I think I'll call it the Henitentiary.
Anyway, these two are what's known as Goldtops. They are a cross produced by a white silkie cockerel and a light sussex hen. They really are a lovely golden colour, and are very pretty. I bought them because I was looking for a hen who might go broody fairly easily and hatch out some chicks for me, as I've found the trio of Marans chicksI've been looking after to be quite a lot of trouble, though I'm sure they'll be worth the effort in the end. At the moment the chicks are in the garden during the day, and brought back into the house in their large cardboard carton overnight. They will go outside permanently as soon as they are fully feathered, probably in about a week from now.
My Goldtops came from my new friend Niall Jones who has a lovely smallholding down near Marlborough, not too far from here, where he raises chickens, pigs, sheep and other lovely stuff, on a smallholder scale. What he doesn't need for himself he sells to help support the smallholding. More or less what I'd like to do if I had the space.....
When released from the Henitentiary, the birds have been having a great time sifting through this old compost heap, that I dug out last week. The remaining bits and bobs are just full of bugs and worms, and the chickens love it. I think I will let them clear the area of any pests and then maybe plant it up with some maincrop potatoes. It should be a lovely fertile area.