Tuesday, 30 November 2010

Breakfast at Tiffanys

We're a bit worried that the girls will get cold, so we've done the whole Vaseline on the combs and wattles to prevent frost bite as the weather is definitely turning arctic out there and we wouldn't want them to get sick now would we? The only problem is that we're not sure how often you have to do it, they were very good though and the gorgeous one held them and I smeared it all over them. Their combs were very cold too!

The gorgeous one has also upped their straw allowance considerably and lined the perching(ha!) area with extra straw as one of them tends to end up in there to sleep. He doesn't put the perches in there any more as the chicken that ended up sleeping in that area just sat between them anyway.

I've also posted a picture of them enjoying their latest treat - porridge! We weren't sure whether they would like it but as you can see, it's gone down a treat! Yoko was less keen on trying it but Omelette and Mabel have very much enjoyed filling themselves up with the delicious warm oaty goodness. I'm wondering whether they'll get that glow round them from those adverts that used to be on telly years ago (although we didn't use that particular brand of porringe).

I was talking yesterday with a colleague of mine (Daniel this is the bit about you) about whether we could get people knitting little jumpers for them, but then I thought it might be a little difficult to make sleeves so they'd have to be tank tops! In my head I now have a little picture of them wearing tank tops, knitted, stripey tank tops. Go on, close your eyes and think about it, funny huh? we could have a whole line of chicken clothes, designer chicken wear for the smart chicken about town. I'm not sure how much our girls would let you put clothes on them though - especially Omelette, who runs a mile if you even go to touch her!

Wednesday, 24 November 2010

That's not my name

Ive been working from home this week and the girls are LOVING it. They get to be out all day, putting themselves to bed at about 4.30pm when it starts getting dark. The gorgeous one is also loving it as there's not a lot of poo in their run if they are out all day, that's probably because it's all over my decking! Honestly, it is caked in it.

Mabel is being a bit of a bully at the moment, I just had to shout at her through the patio doors. Omelette was laying in the sunshine quite peacefully and quietly (for a change) and Mabel comes over starts scratching at the floor where Omelette is laying and then pecked her! I shouted "Mabel!" and she walked away, either she knows her name, she knows she was not being very nice or the loud noise made her walk away. I don't really mind which (although I would love her to know her name) because it made her stop pecking Omelette.

Sunday, 21 November 2010

Here in my room

The gorgeous one has taken to putting the girls food an water on the edge of the decking lately. I think it's because the garden is so full of leaves, the feeder and waterer (?) don't stand upright and the girls have a tendency to knock them over! More than once we've found the top of the feeder off and food all over the grass, which they then just scratch into the dirt and walk away. Well anyway, the point of me telling you this is because I just saw Mabel making a claim for the comedy chicken award! Her and Omelette were walking around the feeder (for some reason they walk round the feeder in circles) and Mabel didn't realise quite how close to the edge of the decking it was and she slipped off the edge onto the grass. She got up on I could almost see the shock in her face as she stood upright with her head up as if to say "what? I meant to do that!"

There seems to be a bit of a queue at the minute. Yoko is in their house laying a lovely egg for us and Mabel is hanging around in the run. Mabel doesn't like to lay with company see so she has to wait until Yoko is done, looks like Mabel is getting desperate, I guess it's like only having one toilet in the house and when you gotta go... Yoko's out and Mabel's in. I had hoped I'd be able to get Yoko's egg before Mabel jumped in, but Mabel was too quick for me - oh well. I just like to know who laid the eggs...

Mabel hadn't laid actually. I just went up to give their house a bit of a clean out (as the gorgeous one pushed the snooze button one too many times this morning)and there was only 1 egg, it definitely looked like a Yoko egg and while I was halfway through cleaning the wood shavings, in came Mabel, looked at me as if I were interupting and walked out again. Two minutes later she was back again, wandering around in the clean wood shavings and going in and out of the nesting box, which I hadn't cleaned. She's definitely settled down in there now, so I expect another lovely egg is on it's way - I didn't stop to watch, it felt like something she should be alone for...

As we head for winter and everything gets colder, the gorgeous one now has given the girls extra straw and extra wood shavings to keep them warm at night and is making sure that he closes up the house, all snug and cosy. We're supposed to put vaseline on their crests apparently to stop frost bite getting to it - that's going to be fun when we get to that I'm sure, especially trying to catch Omelette! Yet another adventure for us to have as chicken keepers...

Honky Tonk Woman

I have to tell you about a quirky little thing that Omelette does, it had to be her, right?

Well, she has this noise that she makes, it's like a little "honk". The gorgeous one does a very good impression of it actually, hmm not sure if I should be worried about that or not! Anyway, she'll use it to get your attention or to let you know if she's unhappy with you about something. I tried to think of what it sounded like in order to explain it to you, chicken fans.
The best I could come up with was this; have you all seen Sesame Street? Well on that great educational programme there were these creatures who used to make a honking noise when they hit their own noses (yes, I know, completely ridiculous), well that's what she sounds like. If you haven't ever seen Sesame Street (there may be one of you who has never watched TV), then I strongly suggest you Youtube it to fully appreciate the sound of the honking!

Look under "Sesame Street honkers" for a plethora of honkers clips!

Friday, 12 November 2010


The girls shout at us. Yesterday morning, the gorgeous one stayed in bed while I got up to go to work (yeah, I know lazy right?). He'd left their door open so they could let themselves out in the morning without him having to get up to let them into the run (!). Well they're smart and they can see into the kitchen from their run and I'm sure they think that if they shout loud enough someone will take pity on them and come and let them out - so very stupid...

Even when I go back upstairs I can hear them shouting to be let out. They must have known that the gorgeous one was staying home to let them have a day in the garden.

He did tell me that he had to lock them in their run later in the afternoon as the wind was so strong that it blew the barbecue over (and you know a certain chicken has a habit of sitting on the shelf of said barbecue). If they'd had their wings open a gust could have taken them away, at last they would have been able to fly!

Wednesday, 10 November 2010

After the Fall

The girls are loving the autumn and now the fact that the cherry tree
in the garden has lost all it's leaves. Where there were cherries
earlier in the year for them to rush out to eat, now there's a thick
pile of leaves for them to scratch around in. I guess it saves my
garden a little bit from being completely destroyed by them and their
digging. Sometimes I think they are tunneling their way through to
next door they dig so deep!

We had 3 eggs this morning, which had stopped for a while, but they
were all whole and Omelettes egg was whole with a fairly strong shell
so that was good! It was still a bit torpedo shaped but the gorgeous
one seemed to think it was a lot better than some of her eggs have
been of late.

We seem to have a real lot of eggs at the minute as we were on
holiday and we've been really busy at weekends ad not had a lot of
time to enjoy them. I did make the gorgeous one a lovely omelette on
Sunday, it was a vivid yellow. That's the thing most noticeable about
having very fresh and free range eggs, they are much more 'yolky' than
other eggs and the yolks are bright, bright yellow. Scrambled eggs
look almost radioactive!

The girl child thinks that Yoko has put on weight and I think she may
have something there, she does look like she's had a bit of a growth
spurt, maybe it's just because we haven't seen them much recently or
maybe they are getting ready for the winter? Do chickens get a winter
coat like cats and dogs?

Ah, questions to make the long winter nights fly by...

Speaking of which, the girls are putting themselves to bed much
earlier now as it gets dark earlier. If the eggs haven't been laid
before we leave in the morning, we're having to move them out of their
nesting boxes to retrieve the eggs from underneath them! They don't
like that much, I can tell you. They do let you know about it if they
are annoyed about something too.

The other morning the gorgeous one went to let them out and they have
a habit of running their beaks along the wire of their run, kind of
like prisoners would with their metal cups on the bars of their cells
in old films. Well, when he was walking up the garden two of them
were running their beaks along the wire and one was running her claws
along it. I think they wanted to come out!