I must have forgotten how good the feeling is to discover a freshly laid egg in the nest box, to be honest, I’ve not been checking regularly as I had no expectation of finding anything, then when I found a small but perfectly formed egg in our middle hen house last week I squealed with joy!
The chickens haven’t laid an egg, probably, since November and, especially with the Micro Bakery, we’ve had to buy in loads of free range eggs for our cakes and bakes.
I’m not quite sure who laid this first egg, it was in the Eglu belonging to the Pekin Bantams, so may have been from one of the new chicks hatched last year but whoever it’s from, I take it as a sign that many more are to come!
Traditionally, for pure breed hens, it’s Valentine’s Day when they express their love to us by starting a new season of eggs, it’s the perfect timing for spring mating and hatching new chicks that can grow safely under the warm summer sun. So for us here at Hen Corner, January 22nd was a welcome treat. Theoretically, we may even have a day when all 17 of the girls lay an egg – that’ll be three boxes full!
When we are finding a good consistent supply, we will start selling them through the micro bakery to our loyal customers, so watch this space…
As we have now collected four eggs, I thought I’d treat myself, and Andy, to a lovely eggy breakfast this morning and was delighted to find a recipe for a Burn’s Night Breakfast posted by Jamie Oliver on Twitter, it’s creamy potato cakes with lightly scrambled egg topped with smoked salmon trimmings, what a way to start the week!
If you are interested in finding out more about keeping chickens, our Family, Feathers and Fun! course starts on Saturday 27th February and our Urban Hens – Keeping Chickens in London sessions start in May.
Talking of eggs, we are practising making chocolate eggs as a Valentine treat for the market stall, a fun Corporate Event and for Easter at the Micro Bakery. We are also planning a wonderful event on Saturday 26th March, Easter at Hen Corner, that invites families to explore the garden, hunting for eggs, hugging a hen and having a go at some seasonal craft activities. We finish our celebration of the seasons with homemade hot cross buns and a steaming pot of tea. Tickets are £10 per person (with booking fee), more info can be found here.
We have Bread courses and Marmalade courses, in the next week or so and our chicken keeping courses start with Family Feathers and Fun! next month. We are really looking forward to the Fox Valentine Vintage & Craft Market in Hanwell on Saturday 13th February, they’ve given us a fab write up and we are planning to take all that is needed to give your loved one the perfect ‘Breakfast in Bed’… We will be baking four types of bread loaves (Rye, White, Seeded Malt and a 50/50 blend of wholemeal & white), three types of sweet buns (Almond, Cinnamon & Lateward) and of course our marvellous marmalade!
If you are in the area, come along between 1-6pm.
Our exciting new Spoon Carving (Traditional Skills) course has only got 3 spaces left, so if you’ve been thinking about it – do get in quick!
- As soon as the sun shines, the bees are flying out to explore the garden
- We’ve had a good clear out in the raised beds and found some cheeky squashes hiding in a corner
- A new pair of compost bins have been ordered all part of spring preparations
Jobs for this week:
- Assemble the new compost bins and transfer all the old compost across
- Prepare the garden for a schools visit next week – 60 reception class students
- Keep checking the nest boxes for more fresh eggs!
Join us on the Journey!