Season’s a-changin’

We’ve had a mixed bag of weather this summer.  We’ve had amazingly hot days, windy, wet and stormy days but all in all I think it’s been an ok season.

The chickens-  Apollo (“The Major”), Helena and Diana have settled in. Chris and I spent a whole weekend fencing off a huge space for them so they can have more room to explore.  The two hens took it it turns to go broody but we still managed to eat our fair share of eggs.
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New chickens for springtime.

My last post was a sad one.  Mr Fox had killed my rooster and three of my hens.  I spent the next few weeks trying to keep the two hens I had left occupied and  happy but ultimately they were used to being in a bigger social group and as they were no longer allowed to free range in the field but kept in a large enclosed space, they began to fight.

It broke my heart to see them so unhappy.  I made the decision to rehome them.  My Aunty Car (Caroline) is an expert chicken keeper with a mixed flock of chickens and ducks on a big pasture where her chickens roam securely in a huge open air run.  I asked her if she would adopt my two hens and she did.

So, my dear friends were happily rehomed.  All I had left was an empty coop.  Over the next few weeks I watched the grass grow up around the abandoned coop and I missed the quiet cluck of a hen and the crow of a rooster.

My birthday came around and Aunty Car, knowing how I missed having feathered friends around, suggested she buy me a trio of Pekin Bantams.  (A trio being a rooster and two hens).  She explained to me that Bantams are smaller, happy to be in a run and don’t require as much space as the hybrid breeds I had previously.  I was delighted.  I had just had a tax rebate and so I was on the internet straight away researching the Pekin Bantam and all they would need.
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A very sad day

This blog was started only a few weeks ago. I called it “Me, five hens, one rooster and a dog called Bella”. After a fox visited the farm today, I should really re-name this blog “Me, two very lucky hens and a dog called Bella”.
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Honey’s story

Honey and Bella

Honey and Bella

Honey was always a bit smaller, lighter coloured than the other hens, hence her name. Her beautiful ginger, honey coloured feathers always shone when the sun came out.
Like all the other little hens, she hadn’t started laying when she first arrived on our small holding.

One morning, I took my coffee up to the middle field to spend some time “chicken watching” (or chicken TV as Tish calls it)…. I couldn’t find Honey anywhere… This was the first time our free ranging hens hadn’t run to greet me…something was wrong. I eventually found Mini, Gwen, Red, Annie and Benny but I couldn’t find Honey.

After hours of looking, Bella the jack russell found her hiding in the bamboo patch. I thought nothing of it and put her back among her mates and went back to the house to hang the washing out…. Continue reading

Meet the gang

As one of my first posts, I thought it sensible to introduce ourselves.

First – the most important ‘people’ on this blog who’s adventures we will be following closely; Our five Gingernut hens – Annie, Mimi, Red, Gwen and Benny (Benny has a bent toe). All are roughly 7 months old and have been laying an egg a day each for about 6 weeks now. They are very clever and a bit cheeky which I love. Continue reading