Last spring I purchased six eggs to put under our broody hen, Daisy. Four of these were blue, which I was really excited about. We had had Araucanas which lay green-blue eggs, but blue eggs would just be fun. So the children and I waited and counted down the days. Daisy was a very good mother and barely left her batch, but despite her efforts only two hatched. These were two of the blue ones.
Checking in my book, I could see that they were a breed that you could sex according to their colour. Hurray, we had one dark and one light. One must be of the blue egg laying type.
Jump on eleven weeks. We returned from holiday and our neighbour, who had been looking after the hens, greeted us with the news that one of the chicks was developing a crow. OK, I didn’t mind a cockerel, seeing as our old one had died a few months earlier. I could now see us producing our own hens laying blue eggs.
The next day I busied myself in the kitchen garden after a week’s absence, keeping half an eye on the chicken ark with the chicks in them. By now the chicks were much bigger and had the same colour feathers. I was fascinated to spot which one was crowing, as we had heard him by now.
I was pinching out the shoots from the tomatoes, when I heard him crow. Looking up I spotted which one it was. The very next second the other one stretched out her neck and crowed. Hang on that’s not right. Hens don’t crow. Hens lay blue eggs, they don’t crow. I carried on watching and, of course, there was no mistaking. The image of baskets full of blue eggs was fast disappearing.
So I now had two cockerels. They seemed to be the best of friends, even when we put them in with the other (non blue laying) hens. The children named them Cockle and Doodle. I called them Lucky and Noodle in the hope that we might get a good meal out of it all.
Jump forward to this year. I’m not sure if it is the scent of spring, but the cockerels are not such great friends. They have started fighting and they no longer roost together. The children’s views have made roasting one of them, quite frankly, unpalatable. It looks like we are going to have to split the flock in two.
And still no blue eggs!