Saturday, 3 November 2012

Teaching the Young

'Today,' said I, clopping into the back garden armed with wellies and lady gardening fork, 'I am going to initiate you into the world of worm.'

'What did she say?' said Primrose.
'Something about worms,' said Daisy. 'And before you ask, I have no idea what worm is.'
'Is it a type of cake do you think?' said Primrose.
'I just said I didn't know, didn't I?' said Daisy.

'The old girls used to love this,' I said. 'Many a happy hour did we spend digging for worms.'

I am worried about the lack of variety in the hens' diet. I keep thinking, were the other hens this fussy about food? Am I being too previous in expecting them to get excited about grapes and curly kale and snails prepared on the snail sushi bar aka a couple of rocks by the back fence? After all, they are very young still. And they have only just moved from layers mash onto layers pellets, so that's progress, isn't it?

Primrose and Daisy eyed me with suspicion. My Mum brought them a head of spring greens yesterday and I saw they had made several holes in it. At least they were getting some greens. But they have rejected my offers of grapes and sunflower seeds, and this, I have decided, is not normal chicken behaviour.

'Right,' I said. 'This is how is goes. I dig my lady gardening fork into the ground and you two rush forward in a high state of excitement and gobble up all the worms that come to the surface.'
'Nope,' said Primrose. 'I still don't get what she's on about.'
'They are a good source of protein, worms,' I said, and began my dig.

The hens stood fairly close to the action, and they cocked their heads to one side in a kind of 'we're reasonably interested in what you're doing' way, but only becuase it looks a bit crazy. But as the worms came to the surface, the hens just stood there. In frustration, I picked up a worm and passed it to Primrose.

'There you go,' I said. 'Fresh worm. Have a try.'
'What?' said Primrose.
'I think she wants you to eat it,' said Daisy.
'You are joking ?' said Primrose. 'Eat that? Why in the name of all that is holy would I want to eat that? You eat it.'
'No thanks,' said Daisy. 'I've got a nice piece of red snapper in the fridge chilling with the Cabernet Sauvignon and a strawberry cheesecake.'

And the pair of them wandered off to strip a little more bark from the bottom of the willow arch.

'Well,' I said, 'there's gratitude for you. I came out here in the mud and the cold and I've used my lady gardening fork to dig you up a rare chicken treat, and you don't want to know. You are one weird pair of hens.' And I wellie stomped back indoors, muttering under my breath.

'What did she say?' said Primrose.
'I think she wished us a pleasant afternoon,' said Daisy.


Olly said...

They'll start eating more when they are ready to lay - I find new chickens are always a bit fussy, rather like teenagers really. Then they suddenly discover FOOD and nothing is safe after that!

Denise said...

Today, they got very excited over a cabbage,Olly - and you are right, of course; I should be enjoying the garden greenery before they realise they can eat most of it and proceed to do so!

doodles n daydreams said...

Happy birthday for the 2nd Denise. It sounds like you enjoyed your day, holey choc icing and all.
How is the house selling/hunting going? Or shouldn't I ask?
I'd rather eat cabbage than worms myself, but then I'm not a chicken. I guess one day they'll come around to it.


Denise said...

The house selling has ground to a halt, Diana. Half of me is annoyed because we have found another house that we really like in Norfolk, and the other part of me is relieved because it means I don't have to be on top of the housework day in day out!
Ah well, the adventure will continue in its own good time. And thank you for the asking, and the birthday wishes, also.

Hope you are happy and healthy! X

Azara said...

I had no idea hens were so picky. Kind of reminds me of feeding my toddler - all the prep and then she ignores it or throws it on the floor.

I don't know if you like blog memes, but I gave you a Liebster award because I enjoy reading your posts. If you're interested, it's here:

Denise said...

Ooh, thank you Azara! I've never been nominated for an award before!

You are very kind and I am glad you enjoy the blog here at Much Malarkey Manor.