Meet the Family

IMG_5676The recent showers we have been blessed with combined with the still warm August temperatures means that the small amount of grass we have has grown both quickly and lushly. I usually cut the Tai Chi lawn with a small push mower but this streamside grass, being on a slope and with some cowslips and other plants growing through it in places, is cut with these useful shears which are used single handed:

IMG_5677I had just finished trimming and was neatening the edges when I realised that under the edge was a few inches of path where the grass had progressively overgrown it! A few sharp lunges with the spade detached the excess along the length of the path, revealing an additional cobbled brick width. It still needs tidying up, but a further shower curtailed gardening activities at that point so I gathered up the tools instead and was about to recycle the bits of turf when I realised who might like them…so, meet the family:

LBDD MMQC ssmdWe have had chickens since 2000 with the odd gap between batches and it is about a year since we lost our last one so have had a twelve month break. We both felt the time was right and were ready for more so brought our new family home about 4 weeks ago. From the top and left to right let me introduce you to Lavender’s Blue and Dilly Dilly (Bluebells), Mary Mary and Quite Contrary (Buff Orpingtons) and See Saw and Marjory Daw (Black Rocks). The middle two aren’t laying yet but we are getting three eggs most days from the others, albeit still fairly small. Apart from having to clean them out it is great to have slipped back into our old chicken routines again!

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34 Responses to Meet the Family

  1. Val says:

    A lovely group of girls!

  2. Noelle says:

    I love the names you have chosen for your hens, you and the golfer can go down and sing along to them…I bet they lay more eggs that way.

  3. Christina says:

    I love your names for them too; I wouldn’t have expected anything less. They are very beautiful, I’ve thought about keeping hens but the thought of a fox killing them puts me off. Do you let them clear new ground for you?

    • Cathy says:

      Thanks Christina – our first batch had Beatrix Potter names, the second were ex battery and all looked the same so somehow ended up nameless! I have thought of giving them a day out in the fruit cage in the autumn but they are at opposite ends of the garden unfortunately!

  4. Sam says:

    Great names! I like the idea of keeping chickens, and we did think we might when we moved here, but our neighbour lost all of hers to a fox a year or so ago and that put us off. Maybe one day…

    • Cathy says:

      We have once seen a fox in the garden but it is more enclosed now and surrounded by other properties so they are fairly well protected from foxes and locked up at night – no casualties so far!

  5. With the projected rise in the cost of eggs I have been researching raising chickens and I am considering adding them next year…I’m anxious to see how you do with your new flock.

  6. I love our chickens and the fresh eggs. I do not love tending them all winter when they decide it is too cold to lay. LOL πŸ™‚

  7. Pauline says:

    Lovely ladies with fantastic names! I’m sure you will have great fun with them as well as enjoying their eggs!

  8. rusty duck says:

    Oh, I’d love to have chickens. But our new wildlife cam revealed that we have too many foxes. Hope you’ve got a stack of recipes put by for when they reach full capacity!

    • Cathy says:

      That is the downside of having 6 – if they are all laying every day that could be 42 a week… πŸ™‚ There are plenty of takers for spare eggs though

  9. Anna says:

    What a fine feathered family Cathy. There are several plot holders at the allotments who keep chickens. It’s most comforting to listen to them clucking in the background as I work. Their eggs beat supermarket ones hands down any day.

    • Cathy says:

      Fine indeed and so lovely to have them again. Two near neighbours have chickens and the clucking must have gradually worked its way into our psyche πŸ™‚ Are the ones on the allotment completely enclosed for safety?

  10. Joanne says:

    I love the names you have chosen for your family. πŸ™‚

  11. What a lovely flock. Nothing like fresh eggs. We are buying ours from a farmer friend. I have always wanted chickens but my husband is opposed to them. City ordinance and all against them. Bah humbug.

  12. Eliza Waters says:

    Such beautiful chickens – I love them, but with all the wild critters around here, chickens don’t live long unfortunately. 😦

    • Cathy says:

      That’s a shame Eliza – ours were bought form a local breeder and it was good to have several breeds to choose from even if the Golfer did want two fairly standard Buff Orpingtons!!

  13. bittster says:

    They look fantastic, congratulations!
    We used to get eggs from a neighbor’s chickens and they were always by far the best.

  14. Kris P says:

    I envy you your chickens, Cathy! I’d love to have some but my husband would be none too pleased while the coyotes might be all too happy to see them.

  15. Brian Skeys says:

    I think Black Rocks are beautiful chickens the way the different colours of the feathers change in the sunlight. Love the names.

    • Cathy says:

      Thanks Brian – yes, I fell for the Black Rocks when I saw them. We had some Plymouth Rocks in our first batch and loved them too.

  16. Ah, there’s nothing quite like the crooning of happy chickens to keep the gardener company and fresh eggs are something else. Reading this makes me think we might try some more one day as we do miss them. They seemed to eat everything except pernicious weeds, slugs and snails!

    • Cathy says:

      Ours are kept away from the garden itself but I do try and give them any caterpillar infested leaves and dandelion leaves…;)

  17. Oh how wonderful to have chickens. I wish we could have them here…a perfect complement for the garden.

    • Cathy says:

      In some ways it would be nice to allow them ‘free’ range of the garden but I love my garden more than I love them so they are staying put!!

  18. I looked after my neighbours chickens this summer and was rather amused by them. Do yours nip in the house the minute your back is turned? do they run after you for food? do they eat the heads off your tulips? Hers did. They are pretty looking birds.

    • Cathy says:

      We have only had this batch a month and they are still finding their feet (should look at the end of their legs, of course…) – their gate does not swing shut on its own and I do have to watch they don’t take advantage but so far if they do have little walk they don’t object to being picked up and brought back – unlike a neighbour’s chickens which often ventured into our garden and led us a merry dance! But would you agree to chicken sit again?

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