Country Matters Hexton

News from Country Matters Hexton, a shop in Hertfordshire

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Supplier Spotlight - Helen - Hens & Eggs

Helen is the 'boss' and you will often see her at the counter serving you.

Helen has a flock of 50 hens and 5 very happy cockerels and brings along their fresh eggs, you just can't beat a fresh egg!  perfect poached, fried, scrambled - what is your fav way to enjoy a fresh egg?

The brown hens come from a friend when she changes her small commercial free range flock. So they are a commercial breed, which I continue to keep for 2-3 years.  The other mixed colour birds are home bred with either my own eggs or eggs from a friend.

Running with the flock are 5 cockerels, two turkey cocks, fourteen guinea fowl.

Here are a few fun facts:

The hens are encouraged to lay by light, so the longer the daylight hours the more eggs the flock lays, 15 eggs a day a the moment and that will rise to around 25-30 a day at its height which is probably May/June time.

The hens can get broody, so eggs are put under them to encourage them to lay.

 The birds are either fed Heygates layers pellets or wheat from a local farm, along with fruit and veg left from the shop, they they especially love cabbage and apples.

They generally start to go to bed an hour before sunset, when it has just got dark the huts are shut up. There are half a dozen or so who choose to roost in the trees, and the guinea fowl always roost in high trees.

When hens come back on lay after the moult their first few eggs are smaller, so there are mixed sizes from teensy to huge, Helen tries to ensure that each box weighs roughly the same then.

They are great in scotch pancakes as they’re a rich yellow/orange without paying fancy prices.

Turkeys lay big eggs - and hopefully they will be laying later in the year - so check Facebook and we will let you know when they are available.

and also

Egg boxes are reused - so please return yours to the shop.

Helen is also the orderer of Yarn - so always worth having a chat to her about what you like and don't like about the King Cole Yarn that is for sale....perhaps we need to cover that on another post.

Likewise she buys locally grown fruit and veg on a Thursday, so feedback is always welcome.

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