The Cottage Smallholder

stumbling self sufficiency in a small space

And Baby made four. The arrival of our new Leghorn chickens.

Photo: Leghorns

Photo: Leghorns

“Did you know that cockerels all have distinct voices?” Kevin put down his mug of tea and stared into the garden as a cockerel crowed.
“That’s Sage.”
Caroline nodded. She explained that ours are still finding their voices on the crowing front. And as if to order we heard a rasping cry.
“That’s one of yours.”

I was sitting in Caroline and Kevin’s  new conservatory. Admiring their lemon tree – laden with fruit on their sunny terrace. Finally after so many weeks of ogling our new Leghorn Family through Caroline’s wonderful photographs, I was collecting the birds.

Regular photographs from Caroline have charted their progress from four fluffy darlings to three hefty bantams and one tiny bantam, the chick that didn’t develop so quickly.

Baby is smaller than a pigeon and has only just moved on from fluff to feathers. He sleeps a lot, and then explores a bit and then sleeps again. We think that Baby is a cockerel as he has teeny wattles. So we now have three new cockerels in our flock. In time one of the smart Italian gentlemen may have to be rehomed.

The only hen is Zebedee. She is elegant and chic. She also is a kind being, letting Baby nestle under her wing. He is a bit frightened of the cockerels but is small enough to creep behind the Ken Doherty Day Centre where the mincing brothers are too big to follow.

Leghorns were originally an Italian breed. Most white supermarket eggs worldwide are laid by Leghorns. They are great, consistent layers. The Chicken Lady advised that they can be flighty but when I discovered that my paternal Grandmother kept Leghorns I was really keen to get some.

I’ve divided the run into two pens, one for our old flock and the other for the leghorns. When Baby gets a bit bigger the great wire wall will come down.

Ours are brown Leghorns, although Zebedee’s feathers look almost black with a little ginger detail around the neck. Just what one would expect from an Italian hen – the perfect little almost black dress. The bigger cockerels are beautifully marked and Baby has brownish feathers.

Photo: Dr Quito observing Baby

Photo: Dr Quito observing Baby

I have spent a lot of the afternoon Leghorn watching and so has Dr Quito. He was at the wire until dusk – licking his lips and shrieking with delight.

Thank you Caroline and Kevin for raising these chickens for us. Like Dr Q, we are delighted with them too.

We now need names for our two Italian gentlemen and are offering a prize for the best suggestions.

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  1. michelle

    lol tell that dog to stop licking its chops!

  2. Arrigo and Antonio

    Daryl in Maine, USA

  3. I say I say I say boy @ Tamar …LOL

    I think you should call them Marlon ( marlon brando the godfather) and Moussolini ( italian dictator)


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