Our Chickens

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In 2006 we decided to keep chickens, something we had always wanted to do, but for one reason or another had never got round to.

We're very sad to report that following a fox attack on our chickens on Wednesday night May 30th 2007, we lost three of our lovely girls including Brenda Brown chest and  Snowy White. We are of course very sad and deeply concerned for the four remaining girls. The spread of foxes into the urban environment seems to go on unabated, and now it's deeply affected us.

Below is a selection of the last few snaps of our girls.




Sadly after one day and ONE MORNING, Basil, our cockrell had to go. He was just too noisy for the neighbours. Now don't panic.... Liz has found him a new loving home, at a specialist breeder called 'Happy Hens'. There he can go back to sleeping in the trees, and the owner has promised if we want some fertislised eggs anytime to just ask! He said pop them under your broody hens and Bobs your Uncle, or rather Basils your Dad.....Cockadoodledoo!


We've been 'tarting up' the enclosure a bit with a rain cover for the feeder, and for the girls!! And numerous tree branches have been added to provide additional roosting opportunities! The cats appear to have lost interest a little... as Liz puts it.... chickens are further up the pecking order! Keeping the enclosure secure is quite an issue though as our girls are prolific diggers!

Late November 2006
The chickens have been getting 'tanked up'!!  That is, to act as yet another defence against the dreaded fox, I have dug in a chicken wire floor to their enclosure. 20 cm down attached to the side walls it has created a kind of 'tank' (for want of a better word) Then if anything tries to burrow up under the walls, they'll hit the wire floor. What I've learnt from watching all those great escape war movies!!


The digging created much merriment amongst the girls, the worms didn't stand a chance, mind you I had to watch where I put the spade!

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The webcam of our chickens (right) refreshes regularly... if you are lucky! A click of the refresh button on your browser often will do the trick! We hope to provide a live video stream soon.
Oh and yes from time to time don't be disturbed if you see a cabbage hanging... an old trick Liz's mum told us to keep the chickens active!

Preparations for their arrival began with ripping out one side of the fruit cage. having seen the horrendous price of chicken coops, we decided to buy a 99 B and Q shed and I got on with customising it, building a  storage container and nest box on one side from whence we expect our ladies to produce lovely little eggs. We were treated to some of these delicious small eggs from Grace's family (one of Catherine's school friends) who kindly gave us their new brood of Bantams. I don't think I've ever had such a tasty, or yellow, Omelette!!  We're giving up the fruit cage to them, but hoping that the raspberries and gooseberries will still survive!! Some hope. Even Catherine got the paintbrush out!!

We took on seven girls and one boy. They are a Belgium bantam, but we're still trying to find out the breeds name.
Grace's family have kept them free range for somewhile. These eight were the result of them showing Grace the process of the chicken from the egg! At night they flew up into the trees and roosted there, and we have been a little worried now that they will be penned, albeit in a very nice large pen with a brilliantly constructed hen house!!


After a further three weeks, the girls are settling in nicely..  without Basil's antics!! But they only occassionally use the hen house to roost at nights, prefering to sleep on the roof of the house with their heads up against the wire, which has proved most interesting for the local cat population. As yet they are not laying... they are still a couple of weeks too young, (that's the excuse!) so we're keeping our fingers crossed for some October eggs!


Mid October 2006
We think the girls are approaching their laying age, approximately 20 weeks old, but a friend who keeps chickens tells me that he doesn't think they will now lay until the new year as they mault about now. That first egg is going to be quite an event!


yummy yummy yummy
.. and yes we did cut it into three very small bits!!

Late October 2006
I am happy to report the arrival of our first egg!! Despite being only 50mm in length, we're very proud of our girls. The happy event happened sometime between 10am and 4pm on Sunday 22nd October.

Early November
Temperatures are down to freezing in the UK, so will the chickens make it inside the hen house instead of roosting on top!! Soon to come..... inside the hen house webcam!!
Wednesday night, bitter cold, but NO, five were out on the roof, just 2 were in!! Daft animals!


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