Friday, 12 October 2007
Introducing...The Bluebell Girls
Welcome to the Bluebell Girls, at last! We've been waiting for them since the beginning of August, when they must have been rather small. The three blue belles are beautiful, but hard to distinguish; one is slightly smaller and darker than the other two. The white birds are different hybrids, so easier to tell apart; the smaller is Lalage, and the larger, with the amber markings, is Betty (after Betty Boothroyd, and yes, we know she was a Tiller Girl, not a Bluebell Girl...) The others are officially waiting to find their names - something suitably Bluebell-ish, I thought, perhaps from Muriel Spark's The Girls of Slender Means, but my husband announced that he knew about names of people in lines, and they should be Cox, Bow and Stroke. So, for the time being, and I have a horrible feeling it will stick, the two similar ones are Cox and Bow, and the small dark one is Steerage (my memory for things sporting is vague). Lalage seems to really like slugs so she will be much indulged. Happily, their introduction to the dogs went smoothly, and they are now designated family members.
The girls are 19 weeks old - what is known as Point of Lay Pullets. The blue belles lay brown eggs, Lalage will lay white ones and, I'm told, Betty will produce orange ones. They are all hybrids, for reasons of hardiness, since north Northumberland is chilly in the depths of winter, and for good laying. I used to rear and keep rare breed poultry many years ago but too much travelling means I don't have time for that anymore. When I retire, perhaps.