Tuesday, 16 August 2011

Mabel Pearman's Burford Brown's

I’ve been buying Mabel Pearman's Burford Brown eggs by the Clarence Court label from Waitrose for years -  they are free-range and they are the most glorious darkest brown glossy shelled eggs you can find.   So even before I started unpacking it was never mind the roof that needs fixing  -  I needed chickens to lay the eggs I use to bake and cook with!

These feathered ladies represent the very reason for moving house and I was fascinated to learn that chickens have been domesticated for over 8000 years.  So fresh air, outdoor living, delicious home made ice-cream, fabulous soufflés and glorious cakes made with eggs collected by oh so careful children’s little hands is what I have dreamed of for such a long time.

The original  idea was to have 6 chicken that each laid a different colored egg.. but I bought three Burford Browns because I just fell in love with them and the children just adore just them.  Since we have had them instead of rushing downstairs to switch the TV on (which I have banned in the summer) the children rush outside to let the chickens out - their names are Babette, Fenella, Camilla, Calpernia, Victoria and Beatrix.

I contacted Philip Lee Woolf, who's grandmother invented the breed and drove over to Lammy Down Farm in Wilshire to meet him. . The drive to the farm was over a mile of semi wilderness with a herd of cows mooing along the lane and I was made very welcome by Philip’s wife Janet, who went to the trouble of making us a lovely lunch. I spent a delightful couple of hours finding out all about these lovely creatures and you can find out much more in the interview below.
http://audioboo.fm/boos/439476-burford-brown-chickens-in-the-stable.mp3?source=embed">Burford Brown Chickens in the stable (mp3)


I came home with three chickens at 15 weeks old just at point of lay .. so I shall have free range eggs in the truest sense of the word in the next few weeks!  The chicken themselves are lovely as their eggs and importantly they lay on a commercial scale ( 240 eggs a year.)  They more than pay for themselves.  They also have the advantage of being rather gentle, sociable placid and easy to tame.

So now I have chickens that eat leftovers and convert the scraps into eggs!  (Yes even I with my delicious food we have leftovers.)  When the children abandon their crusts I so much feel better about it!  Just yesterday, when I would normally throw crusts to my resident crows, my youngest tottered off and threw the bits into the run.  I felt great knowing I would have eggs in return.  To keep the fox away my husband and father in law have spent the last two weekends building a run for them to live in and I have put a radio on in the barn. It really amused me that they were eating hand made sourdough crusts…  whilst listening to Vivaldi!

Al & Bunny building the chicken run. 

1 comment:

  1. Wonderful post and hello from a fellow new hen owner: my POL hens arrived on the 1st August and started to lay mid-August, I have three hens too, you can see them here:
    Love your blog ~ lovely to find you and I am participating in the RBOK event, such a great idea.
    Karen @ Lavender and Lovage


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