Do Hens Make A Farmer’s Wife Then?

I do love watching the hens strut around the yard. We have foxes in the fields around us so we have to be careful, the hens are let out around 5pm as there’s activity around the yard with the milking parlour going, calves been fed depending on time of year and the children running around so the noise might help to keep off any predators. They go to bed themselves so it’s just a case of checking the four of them are on their roost and shutting them in for the night.

Hens having fun

They have great personalities – they love to head across to the haybarn first where they scratch amongst the straw and do their funny dance which involves shuffling back with both feet which produces a cute wiggle, pecking at something they have uncovered and then repeating. When there were calves there, they used to love watching them – it’s probably like a television show for the calves. ?If they see me coming, they run after me as they know I bring them food. They’re not overly keen on the hen pellets and will cluck with discontent when they just get pellets for their tea. However, they love kitchen scraps – left over pasta and potato skins are their favourites and after an initial loud cluck cluck I won’t hear a thing while they take their fill. It’s surprising how much four little hens can eat!

Cluck Cluck

They are quite adventurous hens. As their house is in the middle of the yard, they are free to go up or down and they often venture up to the fields and explore around – this is partly why they are only let out for a few hours as if they were let out all day, they might go too far and get snapped up by a hungry mother fox.

Big Egg, Small Egg

We get 7 eggs every 2 days, I’m not sure if one hen is giving one egg every two days or whether they all take a break every now and then. They all lay in the little box and we find that two dozen of eggs per week is plenty for us – even with all the baking that Kate does. One of the hens produces a huge double-yoked egg about once a month. On the left is a normal egg and on the right is her huge one. ?Hens have to be one of the easiest animals – after all, cows and goats have to be milked, lambs have to be killed, a hen just lays an egg and all you have to do is feed them, bed them, collect the eggs and say ‘thank you’.

Maybe I’m even a “proper farmer’s wife” now that I have a few hens again 🙂 The reason I make that statement was that when I was interviewed by Ivan Yates, he asked if I had hens and as I hadn’t at the time, he looked at me as if I wasn’t a ‘proper farmer’s wife’ without hens!

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