It is traditional to “fine” red wine with egg white. In this era of product traceability we have to track back to a specific hen, so some lovely hens were purchased to provide different coloured eggs. They are fully vaccinated, fed on layers pellets and grain with sunflower seeds as “treats” and are not allowed kitchen scraps.They have an enclosed run, and their own garden, nicknamed “Chicken World” as well as the five acre vineyard to roam. Their favourite place is under the beech hedge.
The much lamented passing of Ginger caused consternation in the hen house.Ginger had been top hen – the resulting vacancy resulted in a lengthy and hard fought leadership contest, eventually won by Bernie.
Ebony – a 3 year old French Moran hen, lays chocolate brown eggs. A dignified and calm hen she is the oldest and wisest with chairperson like qualities and rarely gets involved in petty squabbles, but can stand her ground. She spends most of the summer being broody and sitting on the other hens eggs, to no avail as we do not possess a cockerel.
Attilla the Hen – a 2 year old white Suffolk star hen, who lays white eggs, is a bit anti-social with a strong peck. She mounted a failed campaign to oust Ginger as dominant hen when Ginger spent 36hr at the vetinary hospital, a while ago, and has no hesitation about pecking hens and people.
Bernie – a 2 year old large columbine hen lays pinkish brown eggs. She loves to be near people, can run fast and is always first of the mark when she hears the rustle of the sunflower seeds bag. She can be brave and bold but is not noted for her intelligence, indeed she appears a bit “goofy” at first meeting. Nevertheless, she won the leadership contest to become top hen.
Nicky – a 2 year old small columbine hen lays blue eggs. She is very sweet natured and has never been known to peck either hen or human. Nicky failed to defend herself against a pecking from Attilla and was visibly shaken and
timid for days afterwards. Her egg white was used to fine the red wine King Henry 2015.
Amber – a 1 year old ranger hen is bottom of the pecking order and is very intimidated by Bernie. She was bought to replace Ginger and lays a medium brown egg every day. Her egg white has been used to fine the red wine King Henry 2016.
The hen with no name – a naming competition is in the footing! She is young a Barnfelder hen who lays light brown eggs occasionally. Of such a gentle nature, a real lady. She keeps out of Bernie’s way and has avoided all confrontation.
The outbreak of Avian flu has resulted in a DEFRA confinement order. The hens are restricted to their coop and enclosed run until the end of February. We have given them toys and treats to prevent tensions rising.