Wednesday, August 18, 2010


my poor little Light Sussex hen Daisy has been a very brave girl today....she laid an enormous egg....yesterdays was normal size and todays i think will be a double yolker.... :-)

The girls are getting off to bed a little earlier every night now, its sad to think that soon it will be winter again, and that there will be fewer eggs....I am enjoying the lovely fresh eggs I have for breakfast, and look forward to my double yolk one ...

Monday, July 12, 2010

impacted crop

no photos as I had mislaid my camera.....

This weekend Daisy had a very heavy lop-sided neck. A quick look on the internet told me it might be an impacted crop. I gave her a couple of drops of olive oil and massaged the lump, it felt very heavy and firm, a bit like modeling clay. I squished it around a bit gently and then left her morning it had cleared up, but by evening her lop-sided look had returned, but not as heavy as the day before, perhaps she is ok and is just lop-sided naturally, I will keep an eye on her. There is a suggestion on the internet to feed them live white maggotts, these maggotts eat the food around the grass or whatever is causing the blockage, sounds disgusting, but a lot better than cutting her crop open, or sticking a tube down her throat to flush it away...euwww....

This morning I could only count 2 hens.

I felt foolish as I went around the garden calling and thinking one of them was hiding, but the other 2 girls were following me making a new 'noise' if they had been human they would have been pointing and shouting "she's over there".....!! some how one of them ( Letty) had got over an 8ft wall! We had trimmed all the feathers we were shown to trim by the farmer so hadn't expected any escapes. I went quickly to the neighbour with the large dog to see if Letty had got into his vegetables, but no, not there, instead she had flown into the garden of a bird phobic lady who had got her boyfriend to chase the poor hen around the garden and was going to shoo her on to the road!!!! I was just in time ( the neighbour didn't know I had hens because the girls are very quiet ( usually ) ), needless to say a quick session of wing clipping later they are safe in the garden again....phew
I thought keeping hens was a peaceful

oh yes, one of them is laying double yolkers, yum :-)

Friday, June 25, 2010


I am so pleased that my hens appear to hate blackcurrants ( my favourite fruit) and even though this fruit bush is right next to their scratching ground they have left it alone. the leaves are very pungent so perhaps that is why.....whatever the reason I am happy , yum :-)

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

sunny today.....

today i have been out walking and collecting green stuff for the girls..... I picked a huge bunch of chickweed and then found a large area of 'Fat Hen' so I have chopped it all up and added it to a sweet cabbage( finely chopped). I added this all to a handful of oat, wheat and rice flakes for their does make me smile how greedy they are, it makes me feel like a great chef :-)
Today only 2 eggs.......another great pleasure is collecting them and finding that they are still warm.....small pleasures but good ones :-)

Monday, June 14, 2010

another thunder storm

Last evening there was another thunder storm.....I rushed out to see if the girls were cowering in their roost, but no, they were standing out in it all and soaked through. The only worry i had about them being so wet was that it was so close to the time they like to go to bed, so I Iocked them into their undercover pen and hoped they would dry out before they went to bed. Today they seem OK, but I wonder what the eggs will be like?

Friday, June 11, 2010


a sunny afternoon / evening at last, and the girls had fun finding insects and digging in the garden. Only 2 eggs today....... someone is having a rest . today i gave them grated carrot in oat porridge with a spoonful of cottage cheese..... they jumped into the bowl before I could put it down! Carrot is supposed to help protect them from worms....they just seem to enjoy the sweetness, which is good :-)

Thursday, June 10, 2010

grass for a muddy day

Today i fed the hens some of the grass i have been growing in trays, they were getting bored and hungry for fresh green stuff.....I put the tray down in their enclosure and they demolished it! all the grass was gone and roots picked clean in under 15 mins......a success then :-)

Wednesday, June 9, 2010


lots and lots of eggs! Now that all three of my girls are laying i don't seem to be able to eat all that they are producing......tomorrow I must start cooking for the freezer. They really are delicious eggs, and poached they are are a delight ;-)

rain and wind

My poor girls are scratching around in mud, their feet have soles of caked on mud like they are wearing platform shoes....... :-(
The wind blew the door across their nest box yesterday so when I went to collect their eggs there were none to be found. Then I noticed they had laid them on their sunbathing shelf.....clever girls. They must have felt very exposed and vulnerable doing it there though, so today I have tied the door in place so that they can get to their cosy dark space.

Tuesday, June 8, 2010


I am experimenting with growing greens for the hens. In the winter I am concerned tha they will not get the variety they will need, so i am growing trays of grass to trim just the very tips to add to their feed and mustard ,cress, and alphalfa in trays on the window ledge. It also means that on days like today when it is pouring with rain and I don't fancy them digging up my lawn i can feed them some of their favourite,grass.
Last night as their bedtime treat I gave them some of my lentils and rice....yummy, they loved it :-)

Monday, June 7, 2010

my set-up

We only have a small garden so the hens can only be free-range for a couple of hours a day or else they would dig up the whole garden. First thing in the morningI open their roost and let them out, then I feed them their layers pellets / mash in the covered area, this makes sure that they eat a good amount of their balanced diet .Then after I walk my dogs I let them out for a good old scratch about in their open wired area. I let them into the grass area late afternoon, for a few hours, where they can eat the grass and dig around the borders. They seem to like to go back to the dirt area out of choice about 6 in the evening, when I feed them some sort of treat.....bread soaked with a bit of yoghurt ( just a tiny amount, but they love it ) and it means I can lock them up safely until I close them in for the night. This usually happens around 9.30 -10 when they have gone to roost, depending on how light it is, and I close the doors on them,lock the wire door on their pen, and close the wired gate on the mud area ( mud because it has rained all day :-( )

Today the white hen ( Daisy) laid her first hard egg, so perhaps it was the thunder that caused the soft shelled one, whatever the reason I hope she stays happy and continues to lay 'proper' eggs from now on......

Sunday, June 6, 2010


I have had hens for just over 3 weeks, they have been friendly charming little girls who have changed from skinny little girls to proper 'hen' shapes before my eyes...and they have started laying eggs!! The two Warrens have small very hard shelled eggs, but today the Light Sussex has layed a soft shell egg that broke as I picked it up, also she did not lay it in the nest box, but dropped it from the perch I think. I am a beginner in all this, so I have had a look on the various forums for chickens , it seems that she may not be getting enough calcium, or she may need worming ( already? she is only just 20 weeks old :-( ) or she may have had a shock....... Well last night we had the most enormous thunderstorm, lots of crashing and lightning, so I hope it was that, such a shame for her first egg experience, but I will keep an eye on her tomorrow and hope that all goes well. I will put some photos up here soon, and I hope to be doing some sketches of them too if I can, but when I sit in the garden they have taken to sitting on my lap so I may have a bit of trouble getting some drawing done......I love how friendly and comical they are ;-)