Finally, after weeks and possibly months of chicken house and compound building everything was ready to welcome our feathered guests.
I happened upon a ornamental chicken breeder website within our locality and . . . well, we had to go and look. The original idea of yr usual rusty specimens evaporated on seeing the selection available. Of course they still 'do' eggs but unlike the bred-for-egg production variety, these are slow-motion eggers. And that's fine. The former produce many but over a shortish space of time, the latter, less, but produce for longer. And they are soooo funny and beautiful. We may still buy a small flock of rapid egg producers but for now we'll see how our four new lodgers do.
Freezing weather speeded up the choosing otherwise I think we would have been there for hours cooing over the various 'models'. So, we opted for a mad looking Russian breed with black feathered hairdo, two 'peking' fat brown and white speckled ladies who walk as if they have shoplifted masses of items within their amble father gowns, and a funny little beige and white female with two feather earrings who I think may be actually a small dog.
They were introduced to their new home yesterday and have spent much time scratching away in the undergrowth of their pen, and sleeping in the straw of the timber framed chicken mansion. We might just have to go and get a few more, budget allowing...
And, they have names . . . Above, the Eerie One. Below, Mussorgsky. Below, below, Tweedledee and Tweedledum.