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My little chicks!
This is the first time ever, I've recently had a try at expanding our brood of chickens and to be honest it was extremely exciting and very successful. One of our hens always seemed to be sitting in the hen house on the other two hens' eggs. We would change the water and food and always be lifting her out so that she could run around with the others but then she would soon revert to being broody rather than laying eggs!
A nearby Suffolk Farm was selling some fertilised eggs for £1 each which were different varieties. As we already have a Cuckoo Maran, an Orpington and Light Sussex cross and a Blue Leghorn (which is a flighty bird) we thought it would be great to have a few more. The eggs were all individually marked in pencil with what type of bird was supposed to emerge from the egg. I thought that was amazingly clever but then I'd never done this before!
We took six fertilised eggs from the farm and put them under our Orprington cross or "Ginger" as we call her. She seemed really pleased that she could finally sit on some eggs without being chucked off!. We decided to give her the whole of the small garden shed at the end of our garden. It is one of those little 6 x 4 sheds which cost around £100 so cheaper than some of the chicken hutches. We then found an old bedside cabinet from a second hand shop for £3 and filled the shed and the cabinet with straw so that she was comfortable.
I couldn't believe my eyes when the chicks hatched out because out of 6 eggs we have four chicks. It seems now that two of them might be cockerels and two hens. Since the picture was taken above, they have really grown two of them look like eagles but I'm sure they're not!
We are going to separate them from the Mum today as they are now six weeks old and well feathered there are two black Orpingtons, a Maran which is a light grey one and a Barnevelder!
The eggs from these birds are amazing. Many people now are keeping chickens because of the recession and I would definitely recommend it. Being vegetarian we eat quite a lot of eggs and having our own chickens saves us quite a lot of money.
Spanish Omelette (for two)
Four free range eggs beaten, a little milk, one onion, 2 large potatoes, herbs.
Cook the potatoes and cut into chunks. Chop the onion and lightly fry in frying pan and add the potato and lightly fry or saute with butter.
Add the beaten egg with a little milk plus herbs fresh or dried, salt and pepper.
Cook until solid in the pan but now browned.
Turn on the grill and put your pan under the grill - grill for 5 minutes.
Fabulous! Serve with a salad and tomatoes.