I’ve been trying to date when the old black hens arrived here at the shop.. I’ve a photo from May 2012 and know they were here then… Grandad and Grandma went on holiday and left them here to be ‘hen/baby sat’. At that point in time ‘The Boy’ was not yet at school and spent some of his time at the shop – naturally he made friends with the chooks and loved to help feed them. Anyway the grandparents returned from their travels, moved the younger Isa brown hens back to their chook pen and left the 5 old Australop hens to ‘keep down the weeds’.
Then the day arrived… Grandad came down and was having a cup of tea with us when he announced he was ‘taking the old hens to market’ and getting some younger hens …well Mr nearly 3 let out a cry “Grandad you can’t take the old black hens to market they are my friends!” and dissolved tears. Many hugs, cuddles etc later we assured him that the old hens could stay. So we got our first feathered staff members.
By Jan 2014 we now only have 3 of the 5…the other 2 having died of natural causes. Best guess makes the girls about 9 years old (as of 2014) and so far each spring they have laid some eggs.. it will be interesting to see if it happens this coming spring? I’ve no idea how long hens live? But google has reports of up to 20 years.
26th July 2018: Glossy, the last of these beautiful girls lived to 13, we estimate. She was fit and healthy and eating half her own body weight up to the morning she literally fell off the perch. I still miss her… she was always the first hen at the gate for breakfast each morning.