Once you cluck, you can’t stop: new hens!

Keeping chickens has been something of a revelation. Who knew how seamlessly they’d fit into our lives? But now, a little under a year since we got our poor first brood, they’re just a happy part of our daily existence. Last year a survey showed that hens were the sixth most popular pet kept in […]

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Sneaky sheep

Our new sheep have been settling in well and it feels a bit like they’ve always been here. It’s rather nice, watching them potter about maa-ing at each and hoovering up the grass. However we have a problem. We built our new chicken enclosure in a nice sheltered bit of one of our lower paddocks […]

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Moody broody hen

Part of our long-term plan has always been the production of our own meat. For welfare as well as health reasons we’ve gradually become more or less vegetarian during the week. Don’t get me wrong, we’re avid carnivores, but we like to know where our meat comes from, and that it was ranging freely whilst […]

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Catching up with the chickens

Getting chickens was probably one of the least demanding things we’ve done since becoming smallholders. It seemed like. huge endeavour when we actually went to get our first flock, but it takes practically no effort to run a chicken. As long as they’re fed and watered and have a little house to snuggle up in […]

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The Hen Hatch (Patent pending)

Our chickens in our original brood used to free range widely around a couple of paddocks. When we got our new hens after the poor first lot got snaffled by a bloodthirsty fox (henceforth known as Land Pike), we decided to take the opportunity to give them an upgrade in accommodation. Enter a new hen […]

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Round two: keeping chickens for beginners

“Watch out for Doris” warned the friendly chap showing us around the chicken smallholding at Suzie Baldwin’s Happy Healthy Hens in Hampshire. Alarmed, I pulled out oldest son (who had his hand outstretched to pet the turkey bustling around after us) away. “Why, will she peck him?” I asked. ” Oh no” He replied in a […]

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Fort fox(proof): building a luxury chicken enclosure

After the shock of finding that the chickens had all been taken by a fox last week, we decided to fortify the new poultry enclosure somewhat. It used to be a composting area behind our barn and was utterly overgrown with weeds that were literally above waist height. The irony of our loss is that […]

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