Well summer really. We were down to two hens after Bianca died in the spring and decided it was time to get some more.W
e bought Pepper and Jet from the same poultry supplier as before because they have a good reputation for healthy birds.
Our two remaining chooks – Buffy and Blanche – are a hybrid variety called Sussex Star. White with a black lace collar. We thought two black hens would be a good contrast and Pepper and Jet are Black Stars although they have lovely copper breasts and a gorgeous iridescent sheen. They were POL or Point of Lay which means they are adolescent birds about to start laying.
Chickens can be mean and aggressive to new members of the flock so we have been keeping them separate both in the day and at night in the hope that they will get used to each other. After a fortnight we let them into the same pen to see their reaction. Blanche leapt on Pepper’s back and started pecking her head. It was quite vicious. They were hastily segregated again.
I tried many things with the previous birds to stop pecking but none of them worked. This time I have ordered a water pistol from Amazon and plan to zap Blanche each time she goes for Pepper or Jet. It hasn’t arrived yet so I will report back on my success!
After ten days or so Jet began laying. Little 3/4 sized eggs in a glossy toffee brown. Pepper looks younger than Jet: her comb and wattle are smaller and paler so I knew we would wait a little longer for her eggs but the last two morning she has laid a little 1/2 sized pink egg.
They are too small to boil (fiddly to peel and you would need tiny soldiers to dip in the yolk!) but they do make the cutest little poached eggs.