All posts tagged Chickens
Posted by The Garden Smallholder on April 21, 2013
Posted by The Garden Smallholder on March 20, 2013
It has been a month since we moved house, how time flies. We’re more or less settled in the new house with just a few boxes left to unpack, just bits and pieces that we didn’t really use before so they’re sure to find their way to the loft space at some point. The weather has been bitterly cold and dreary for weeks on end but today was just glorious, feeling as if spring had finally sprung in the warm sunshine. I took the camera for a wander to snap a few photos of the garden to post to the blog, it was a perfect opportunity to get an idea of where the sun reaches throughout the day. I take it as a good sign if an area of garden receives sunshine during early spring, going with the theory that it should be better once the sun is higher during summer.
We have a number of
very tall huge ex-Christmas trees down one side of the garden, planted over the years by the previous owner, whenever I see these lovely pine cones I think of all the wonderful things I could do with them for Christmas/Yule celebrations. We’ve heard pine cones are edible but we have no idea if these actually are.
We positioned the chicken run in the shade these trees create to eliminate the heat problem we had in our previous garden during summer. The trees also protect the chickens from snow and frost too.
There are 9 fruit trees in total (with a couple more of our own to be planted). The exciting part is finding out what they all are. The area at the bottom of the garden is probably where our new veg patch will eventually be. It needs a bit of clearing first and new fences are being erected soon.
Nearer the house there’s a pond full of Koi and a well planted rockery surrounding it, screening the house as well as the pond. It must have taken some doing to get all those rocks into the garden.
At the bottom of the garden there’s a greenhouse tucked away, the staging is now in place and ready for seed sowing once conditions are right. I’m really looking forward to spending some time in there, sowing seed for the allotment and planning our new little veg patch for the garden.
Posted by The Garden Smallholder on March 4, 2013
I wish this post was about beautiful red poppies, just like the ones currently growing in the wildflower area of my veg garden. Sadly, this post is about the loss of my beautiful hen, Poppy. She had a heart attack yesterday, it was all very quick and a huge shock.
Rescued in 2009 from a battery farm, she came here as a tiny bald hen. Her feathers started to grow back, the colour returned to her once pale face and she grew in confidence. I watched, as she blossomed into one of the most beautiful hens I’ve ever cared for. Recently she bonded well with my bluebell hen, Myrtle. Typical of her calm nature.
I shall miss her terribly and I’m sure Myrtle will too.
Posted by The Garden Smallholder on August 4, 2012
It’s been a while since I posted some photos of the hybrid hens, these were taken last month. Emily and Poppy, the old ex-battery hens make an appearance too.
Our Speckledy hen lays dark brown eggs. She’s lovely and very placid unlike the white Coral hen, she’s a lunatic!
Myrtle the Bluebell hen loves hanging out in the herb patch, it’s her favourite place to have a dust bath.
Emily, our old ex-battery hen has taken quite a shine to our Coral hen, Fleur. As you can see, Emily is a big old bird!
Hermione and her fabulous ‘hair’!
Myrtle hanging out in the herb patch again, we gave her the correct name!
Each hen lays a different coloured egg which makes it really easy to tell who laid each morning, this can be useful sometimes. I was hoping our Skyline hen would lay blue or green eggs, turns out she lays pastel colours instead but they’re still pretty!
Posted by The Garden Smallholder on July 27, 2012
The sun came out yesterday, just briefly, but long enough to let the new rescue hens out in a run, allowing them to feel the warm sunshine on their skin for the very first time in their lives.
Thanks for all your lovely comments for Willow and Grace!
Posted by The Garden Smallholder on July 11, 2012
It has been a tough old ride with my chickens lately. Yesterday morning I opened one of the coops and discovered Dot, one of my old ex battery hens had died suddenly in the night. Another of my old girls, Ethel was diagnosed with cancer a while ago. She was doing really well on supportive care but recently time had caught up with her and today she was finding her condition hard to cope with. It’s heartbreaking to see a hen literally use every muscle she has to take a breath. I believe the death of Dot worsened matters, they were literally joined at the hip. Today I took Ethel to my very supportive avian vet and allowed her to go, ending her suffering.
Goodbye old girls x
Posted by The Garden Smallholder on June 1, 2012
Myrtle my bluebelle hen is feeling and looking much better, she’s now living with the old ex battery hens and things are going well. Due to her docile nature, I believe this is for the best.
She has taken to dustbathing in the empty veg beds recently and really ‘purrs’ with delight. I decided to get really close to her and take a photo close up. Trouble is, this tends to happen.
*No eyes were harmed by taking this photo, thanks to my camera*
Posted by The Garden Smallholder on May 30, 2012
I thought I’d share some photos of the new hens, taken when they first arrived almost 2 weeks ago. First up is Ginny, a Speckledy hybrid hen bred from a Maran. She’s very sweet and easy to catch, she quite likes to be picked up and handled and eats from my hand etc. She should lay brown eggs.
Then we have Fleur, a pure white hen called a Coral, when she begins to lay her eggs should be pure white. Since this photo was taken her comb has grown considerably, she’s taking more notice of the nesting boxes so perhaps her first egg will come soon. Being very skittish I can’t get near her just yet, however, she appears to be top hen of the younger girls.
Next up is Hermione, a Columbine hybrid bred from a Cream Legbar. I love the pattern and colours of this hen, and of course her funny hair do! There’s an 80% chance of her laying blue or green eggs, otherwise I can expect a range of pastel shades. Again, very skittish and nervous of me, I can’t get near her yet. She’s very sweet and appears to be the bottom hen now that Myrtle’s (bluebelle) no longer part of the flock.
Myrtle is a bluebell hybrid bred from a Maran and Rhode Island Red. She’s very docile and friendly and when she begins laying I can expect brown eggs, sometimes with a ‘plum blush’. She hasn’t been very well recently, fingers crossed she seems to be making a good recovery.
I can’t leave Emily out, here she is with her magnificent comb!
The eagle-eyed amongst you would have noticed a theme with my new hens names, let’s see if anyone can guess. EDIT: Fleur laid her first egg a couple of hours ago, a pure white little egg!
Posted by The Garden Smallholder on May 25, 2012