(Nick here, guest blogging while Frances is in Norway)
As I mentioned last week, poor Rosie, our chicken, had to be put down recently leaving her friend Cinnamon alone. However in our hunt for a new companion for Cinnamon we were put in touch with a man near St Albans who had a whole flock that he was downsizing, so we went to collect one from him. Ladies and gentlemen, I give you Helga:
Why ‘Helga’? Well, as a light Sussex, her markings make her look like she’s wearing her own lopapeysa, so it had to be an Icelandic name. Our son, Joe, suggested Helga, and as I know three other people called Helga on Facebook, thought it might be a bit odd. So we considered various other names, including Henný, which IS a genuine name in Iceland, but that seemed far too obvious, so agreed that Helga was the way to go after all. (My three Helga friends were all amused by this).
Helga is a little less tame than Cinnamon, who has been kept as a pet since hatching. The breed is also known for being harder to catch than most other chickens, so we are prepared for some comical running around the garden after she’s had some free-ranging time. When we first got her, she was confined to her temporary quarters while we tried to get Cinnamon used to having her around
The look on Cinnamon’s face when she first met Helga was priceless. She stood stock still, and wouldn’t take her eyes off this suspicious new interloper. However after being introduced to each other like this each day this past week, they are now happy to wander around the garden together, even partaking of some brief communal preening at one point. And I think Helga is already getting a little protective of her new friend, as after I had picked Cinnamon up for a short stroke, Helga gave me a light peck on my hand as I set her down again, as if to say “leave my buddy alone, you!”
Anyway, please give Helga a warm welcome. She is already settled enough to lay every day, so we are now back to our complement of two eggs a day, meaning we can probably offer some to our neighbours again to keep them sweet.
Frances will be back with you tomorrow – many thanks to her for allowing me to spam you with my photos. I hope you’ve enjoyed the week, I’ve enjoyed your comments here and on Facebook. So for now, from me, Helga, Cinnamon, Archie, Fergus and the rest of the menagerie, bye!