More hens than people?
There was a time, not so long ago, when the casual visitor to Powburn could have been forgiven for thinking that there were substantially more hens than people living in the village! So, it’s perhaps understandable that, given we need a lot of eggs for the B&B, it wasn’t long before a flock of utility hens were added to the garden.
Fast forward a few years, and searching for something a bit different, I came across my first Brahmas.
Adult Blue Partridge pullet
8-week-old Buff Colombian pullet
Bred originally as a dual-purpose egg/meat bird, Brahmas are the giants of the hen world. Cockerels can stand nearly 75cm high and weigh in at 5kg. Despite their impressive stature they are generally placid birds: so much so, they can generally be kept together. They are also reputed to crow less than most breeds, though it should be noted ‘crow less’ does not equal ‘doesn’t crow at all’! Pullets weigh in at over 3kg and are very inquisitive, friendly birds: very different to some of the skittish hens we’d kept previously. Both sexes have the characteristic feathered legs and feet, and neither scratch or damage the garden to any extent.
As with so many of the ‘pure breeds’, they’d fallen out of favour with commercial keepers: they’re simply too slow to mature and, though they produce around 125-150 eggs a year, that doesn’t compare favourably with modern hybrids. That said, their stunning appearance and gentle nature make them an ideal choice for anyone wanting to keep poultry which will provide them with a useful number of eggs year-round.
What I’ll be rearing
Having had to travel quite a distance to purchase my stock, I now intend to hatch and grow-on a number of colours: selling surplus birds and eggs to fund the hobby. Currently, I’m producing Lemon Pyle youngsters and next year intend to supply small numbers of Gold Partridge, Blue Partridge and Blue Buff Colombians as well.
Adult Lemon Pyles
3-week-old Gold Partridge cockerel
Want to know more? Like to buy?
If anyone would be interested in finding more about the breed or like to enquire about the availability of hatching eggs or chicks please don’t hesitate to contact me.