We named them Ruby, Sylvie, Dawn and Phoebe.
Phoebe was the first to lay an egg; but she was the bottom of the pecking order.
Then the Spice Girls arrived . . . three young hens with outragious hair-dos, Phoebe pecked them!!!
Sadly Dawn, Ruby and Sylvie have died and are under the primroses in the orchard; I worried for Phoebe, how would she cope with being the oldest member of the flock?
So, last autumn when I decided to get three new pullets, I got Coucou Marans just like Phoebe . . . because I really believe that "birds of a feather stick together" and Phoebe would like to have the company of hens that looked like her (and her dear best friend Sylvie).
And . . . it worked! Phoebe has a new bounce in her step :-) she has young hens to aim a peck at and give a stare to that says "age before beauty!" . . . Phoebe is now a Dowager Duchess of Grantham among hens!
Over six years Phoebe has probably layed more than 1200 eggs, she layed this one yesterday. As always she took her time . . . about 2 hours! An hour to get comfy, then another to cuddle the egg and go all dreamy.
Today, we had a little celebration in the garden for Phoebe; I made a 'cake' (cooked rice, porridge, bread, seeds and yogurt, flavoured with Poultry Spice)
I made sure Phoebe took the first slice . . . she grabbed it and ran!
She took it far enough away so that she could eat it in peace and none of the others would get it!
And then Phoebe carefully wiped her beak on the grass :-)
It was quite a party!
We hope that we share many more days with Phoebe in our garden, she is the most amiable of hens and we love her lots!