A little under two years ago, I travelled the length of Scotland in a hire van to collect 320 hens. This week, these hens have all gone, and have been replaced by 300 new ones.
The past week has been hectic. I decided to rehome the old hens, rather than cull them all, because even though a two year old hen isn’t commercially viable any more, she lays enough to keep a family in eggs. Production for me recently was at about 30% of what it was last spring – with feed costs the same – so I have been eagerly awaiting this new batch. I ordered them over the winter, from Donald ‘The Hen’ in Skye, and he delivered them to my door.
The old hens left during the week, with folk coming in their droves to rehome them. Many took 4-6, while some took 10-30. I didn’t ask for any payment for the hens, I was just wanting them gone. I did have to cull some, though. It wasn’t something I was particularly keen on doing, but there were about 30-40 that couldn’t be rehomed, for one reason or another. Myself and Innes did that on Thursday night.
Saturday was a really strange day. The hen house was eerily quiet, with only a handful of birds left. That didn’t take long to change though! The new ones arrived around 2.45pm, and by 4 they were all in their new home.
Because the hen house is a hundred metres off the road, we had to transport the crates using my pickup. Uisdean here came to give me a hand.
Myself and Uisdean ferried them to the hen house, while Donald unloaded them. It was smooth and easy, so I was quite happy with how it all went.
That’s them all inside, bunched up in the corner. Very nervous in their new surroundings, I will have to get them used to me going in and out, and also Bud being amongst them! He comes with me every time I go up there, so the sooner they get used to him, the better.
These birds are around 17.5 weeks old, so should start laying in the next 2 weeks or so. I reckon it’ll be around a month before I have decent sized eggs (pullet eggs are very small) but it’ll be full steam ahead then!