The Top Photo is a picture of my Three first hens, who decided to line up and pose for the camera. From left to right: Henrietta, Ophelia and Cleopatra.
Henrietta unfortunately turned out to be a Henry so we took her back to the farm and they exchanged her for a hen. We couldn’t have a cockerel in our neighbourhood.
Ophelia was docile and timid but Cleopatra was very well named. She was cruel and vicious to the other hens and she used to stalk pigeons on the lawn and pull their tail feathers out. She was also afraid of nothing.
This was the Hen we swapped Henry for. She is a little Silkie we named Rosemary (Rosie for short) because she used to hide from the other hens under the Rosemary bush.
Then we acquired Queenie. She was found in someones garden one day with no clue how she got there. She couldn’t keep her but told her sister about it, who happened to sit next to a friend of mine at work. Through this particular grapevine, I ended up with her. She was a regal and lovely hen and she became my favourite. I still miss her.
This is Ophelia, Cleopatra and Queenie Sunbathing on the lawn. I didn’t know chickens did this at first, so the first time I ran out in the garden convinced that someone had shot my beloved pets. They hadn’t of course.
Time could be cruel and I lost Cleopatra and Ophelia, I had already lost Rosie who had always been sickly. They have all been interred in the pet cemetery beneath the Rosemary bush. So I acquired two new hens. Seen above, sharing the dust bath with Queenie is the Golden fluffy hen I named Philomena and the Black Rock called Penelope.
These three got on very well, with Queenie a regal but benevolent ruler.
Queenie died of old age, she deteriorate over the space of a month, becoming bewildered and not eating. It was very sad to see her go. Penelope died all of a sudden, a shock because she was only a year old. So I had to get some companions for Philomena. I then got another Light Sussex who looks a lot like Cleopatra but lacks her cruel and wicked streak. She is called Angelica. The brown hen is called Adelaide, who is lovely and friendly and loved to come into the house and say hello, then goes out again.
With Philomena gone, I have now got two new hens, that have settled in nicely over the last two weeks. The Black hen is a breed called a Magpie, so she’s called Maggie. The speckled Hen is called Esmerelda.
I have had hens now for about 6 years and despite the fact that they do tend to scratch and make a mess and produce huge amounts of manure, they are so entertaining to watch and produce lovely eggs for breakfast, which is more than you can say for guinea-pigs. I wouldn’t be without them.