Monday, 6 April 2009

Happy hens

The village has been full of shiny, happy people this weekend as the sun beat down on walkers, gardeners and people just going to and from the shop. My wallflowers are just about to come out, although obscured by orange brick dust created by builder (with shirt on).

Yesterday, Mr Grigg, still bathing in the glow of organising a very successful work-related event on Friday, used his bartering skills to great effect, swapping stone for bricks with Packman. The latter's garden is taken over by long-haired guinea pigs, goats and children's toys, which is just how a family lawn should be.

Further down the lane, Mr Sheepwash was digging out the foundations for a hen house and run. As Mr Grigg and I wandered down with a bucket to get some tadpoles from the pond, we saw Mr Sheepwash through the trees, digging furiously with his shirt off and listening to his iPod. He spotted us, sucked in his stomach and quickly put his shirt back on.

Pelly says I can keep two hens on their patch of ground, alongside four Sheepwash hens and two belonging to the Logginses. I would like to get a couple of unusual breeds, maybe a Wellsummer and a Barnvelder. I will name them Delia and Nigella respectively.

Delia, the Wellsummer.

Nigella, the apparently legless Barnvelder.

My father, a retired farmer, used to rear poultry on a very small scale. His speciality were Barred Plymouth Rocks, which are a bit like Marans only leggier. The cockerels were bonkers. There were many times when I was chased around the farmyard by Adolf and Caligula, who ended up in the pot just after going for a small child who had the misfortune to be walking by with its parents.

So I am pleased to say the Sheepwash pen is going to be a cockerel-free zone.

I will not be letting on to Pelly that when I was growing up my job on the farm was cleaning out the henhouses. I think I'll leave that for someone else.

That's about it

Love Maddie x


  1. I keep Isa Browns, to sell eggs but they're awfully canny creatures and very tame. I love your photographs of the hens.

    CJ xx

  2. Don't ever get Black Rocks, they are mad, bad and evil. Always have a soft spot for the little brown hen, patient and stoic and friendly. Love the blog.

  3. Hmmmmmmm kept a small flock of Barred Plymouth Rocks and loved them - even had a cockerel. I'd have them again, although I loved the Auricanas that we had last year. The photos are very "Poultry Catalogue" - well done!

  4. Oh lucky lucky you! I keep reading about people getting chickens and I am sooo envious! We used to have some but just at the mo it is one thing too many for me and I do know that but it doesn't stop me lusting after some! I will be living vicariously through your posts so do post a lot about Nigella and Delia - love the names so appropriate for bossomy Chickens

  5. How are you going to know which eggs come from your hens and which are Pelly's?

  6. You're right - don't tell Pelly! Shhhh ....

  7. I too covet your hens...if we do get any they will be the "common as muck" variety(see how much I know about them, staggering!)Don't think it's worth getting anything else here, they would not be appreciated, don't know where I'd find anything else! The common ones get brought into the village as chicks every couple of months in the back of a pick-up.
    No foxes here but we do have pole cats which cause untold damage to the poultry.

  8. I would love to keep some hens. I do hope it all goes well with Nigella and Delia, they are very beautiful.


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