Bob, a retired farmer and sheep breeder, likes to walk out in the morning and look at stock he is proud of. To satisfy this, and to provide Christina with the eggs she needs, he has built up two of our rarest breeds, and is in the process of starting a third.
The hens live in the farmhouse gardens and overlook the Priory ruins.Their home was the site of the Priory fishponds, where they enjoy distracting tourists from their historical ramble.
The first is the CROAD LANGSHAN. They are a breed that came from China nearly two hundred years ago. They stand tall and proud and lay large eggs that are brown, but have a lovely plum coloured bloom to them.
When the sun shines dark blue and green colours appear through their black feathers and they are spectacular. We breed our own replacements,
and therefore produce as many cocks as hens, which can be a problem. However, last year we found many breeders needed our birds to work with their flocks and sent birds to Norfolk in the east, Somerset in the west,
the Isle of Wight in the south and Perthshire in the north; where they are all thriving.
The second is the FAVEROLLES, named after the village in northern France where they originated a hundred and fifty years ago. They, too, are large, but are salmon in colour.
Their eggs are light brown and they are best known for their friendly manner and bushy feathers that appear as whiskers around their cheeks and feet.
And now we welcome the new arrivals, the majestic RED SUSSEX. They evolved in Sussex two hundred years ago, but are now very rare with less than fifty in the country. Their colour is that of rich mahogany and their eggs are large and brown. We have sourced birds
from Scotland and the south of England, and they are settling well.
Our first chicks will be hatched in the spring of 2015 and we look forward to showing them to you.
You are always welcome to look at our birds and why not keep some yourself?
We sometimes have stock for sale or can supply you with hatching eggs. Bob is happy to advise.
If you think you would like to keep some hens of your own Bob is very happy to advise you. Sometimes he may have surplus stock for sale, and from the early spring hatching eggs will be available to buy.
pictures (top down); Croad Langshan cockerel with hens; Croad Langshan cockerel walking; Faverolle hens in the hen house; Young Red Sussex cockerel; Freshly laid eggs, the dark eggs are laid by the Croad Langshan and the light ones by the Faverolle.