last updated 1.6.13
Hatched: 10th October 2007
Died 11th October 2014
Weight: 2.76 kg
Breed: Silver Grey Dorking
Total number of eggs: 678
Biggest egg: 70 g
Smallest egg: 25 g
Average weight: 60.4 g
Lily was one of Bessie’s Peeps, the second biggest when we first weighed them. Right from the beginning, she was the one who seemed to actively enjoy the company of humans. I’d lie on my front with the Broody Coop‘s door open, and she’d come and sit on the rail and peeble away to me. And nothing changed as she grew older – she’s easily the most talkative of our girls, and quite likes to come and sit near you, or on your leg. She has also perfected the “pillow-pose” – she’ll sit on one of the rails of the Winter Garden, hunker right down, and drape herself across it, flowing slightly over each side. Very cat-like in some ways.
She established herself as the Peep to keep very early. How could we resist?
Lily’s name came about because of her legring – she had the pink one. Hence “Lily the Pink”, which became “Lilypily” (an Australian native fruiting tree with pink berries, that Jo loved as a kid). It suits her!
Despite being the first of our bubs to develop a red comb and wattles, Lily was the second to start laying, on February 14th, 2008. She was only 18 weeks old – very young to start, especially for a heavy breed! But all four of the Dorking girls (Alice had been sold the week before) laid their first eggs within 24 hours of each other.
Lily laid the smallest egg of any of our bubs – white, tiny and only 25g. She laid 20 eggs in just over a month (14 Feb to 17 March), and then stopped. For four months!
Actually it’s not entirely surprising. Pullets are notoriously irregular layers to begin with, and once the days started getting noticeably shorter (early April especially) there probably wasn’t enough light to re-trigger her laying. Dorkings aren’t supposed to be heavy layers either. (Not that she or Frida seem to know that!)
The classic Lily egg is chalk white, and often quite pointy. They also have quite watery whites – almost as though they only have the thin albumen (look here for more info on thick and thin albumen).
When Poppy had to be reintroduced to the flock, Lily took the opportunity of boosting herself up the pecking order. She’s now somewhere around #5 – below Bessie, Claire, Venus and Ella, but above Frida and Poppy. She loves to follow us around if we’re doing any gardening nearby. She continues laying her pointy eggs, and being talkative.
Actually, talkative is not quite right – when she prepares to lay, she is loud. We are talking “screaming orgasm disturbing the neighbours” loud. Once, when collecting her from the vets, we could hear her from outside the building, in the carpark, with traffic going past. But she is such a sweetie that everybody forgives her. And she sings to you, or warbles to you, and just generally likes being around people.
Definitely our sort of chicken!