Saturday, 24 December 2011

Merry Christmas Everyone



Hey there all. The girls and I would like to wish you all a very Merry Christmas.

They are doing very, very well and are enjoying some time out in the garden today. I have to say that the two of them look so very healthy and happy recently. Mabel has developed some wonderful new paler colored feathers and Yoko has become a beautiful chicken with a full coat of feathers and they both seem extremely content as we approach their second Christmas with us.

More blogging to come in the new year, but for now a couple of pictures taken today...

Sunday, 13 November 2011

Missing you

Hey there chicken fans

Once again I am the roving reporter, coming to you live from Washngton DC (unless of course you're reading this when I've already left)!

A quick update on our girls and how they are doing since Oms has gone and, well, they're doing just great actually. I hate to be disrespectful to our dearly departed Oms, but they seem to be flourishing, Yoko especially. She has grown proper feathers on her wings for the first time, which makes me think that perhaps the other two were ganging up on her (mean girls).

Mabel and Yoko were out in the garden on Friday as I worked from home and seemed to enjoy the time out, they were doing a little synchronized dance at one point which did make me laugh, it was 3 steps to the right, 3 steps to the left, repeat. Then they started to play follow the leader but Yoko went between the fence and the tree so Mabel ran round it to be out at the same point. I will try and get some updated pictures on here when I get back so you can see just how well they are doing.

The loss of Oms has made me and the gorgeous one more paranoid about the health of the other two, as soon as one of them looks like they might be drooping their tail or standing funny, we're asking each other if they look alright, of course they are alright, they are just fine.

Friday, 21 October 2011

Since you've been gone

We must have the nicest vet ever.

I have been away this week (again) in Barcelona and I arrived home last night to find a card from the vet with condolences on the loss of Omelette and saying that we did the right thing and is we needed anything we could contact him. How sweet is that?!? I was a little embarrassed at how upset I was actually, so this has made me not feel quite so bad about that.

The two remaining girls are doing well. The gorgeous one said this morning that he thinks that Yoko is getting bigger and Mabel has been having some feather regrowth, the garden has been covered in feathers lately! They don't seem to have been affected too much by not having Omelette around anymore if anything I think they are quite enjoying not having to share a nesting box anymore and have very quickly settled into having one each. Maybe that will change when the weather really turns and they may find it nicer to snuggle up together again.

The gorgeous one gave them a good clean out this morning as we are off on holiday tomorrow and have some friends coming to look after the house/cat/chickens so they are either house-sitters, cat-sitters, or chicken-sitters (say that very carefully), you decide...

Saturday, 15 October 2011

Sleep Well Tonight

Sad new chicken fans, yesterday I had to take Omelette to the vets and I'm afraid I came home without her.

She just went downhill over the last couple of weeks though the gorgeous one and I were hoping she would get over it as she was still eating and drinking and although not running about, she was still able to walk around in their run.

I worked from home yesterday and she just stood there in the garden mostly and was making this funny jerky movement so I called the gorgeous one and told him I thought we should bite the bullet and take her to the vet. Now, unfortunately the only appointment that the gorgeous one could get was at 6pm and he couldn't get home in time to take her, so it was down to me. My very kindly neighbor lent me a cage to put her in and we drove to the vets. The vet was brilliant, he has ex bat chickens himself and understood how attached we were to her and the other girls. He also said that we had been lucky to have had her for so long as he started to lose his first brood after just 4 months.

Anyway, he checked her over, she was incredibly thin (I felt her ribcage and she was just bones) but she also had a rather scary feeling lump in her abdomen, which he thought was probably a tumor. She was not moving much whilst she was being examined and was allowing us to hold her and stroke her (that tells you how sick she must have been as she would not have let you touch her before) so it was nice for me to get that time with her. He then delivered the verdict. There was nothing he could do. I knew it was coming, the gorgeous one and I had prepared ourselves for the worst but it was still horrible to hear and horrible for me to have to say goodbye and walk out without her.

So whilst we are so happy to have been able to give the gift of a real life and some free range time to our crazy chicken Omelette, we will miss her and the laughs she brought. Rest easy girl x

Monday, 5 September 2011

Things ain't what they used to be

So the egg drought is well and truly here, no more eggs since the celebration one and there's not an egg in the house. Part of me thinks I'll give up eating eggs if I can't have them laid by our girls...

Omelette is a bit of a worry (when has she not been?) she's pretty lethargic and although eating and drinking, mostly just standing there, the way she stands reminds me of a staunch Winston Churchill so you have to imagine this big fat Churchill chicken with her head pulled in just standing there watching, it's a bit unnerving sometimes too. Her tail is droopy too, having looked online at various reasons for this (rat bite fever, broodiness, eggs stuck in the vent), I don't think any of these apply to her, she is such a worry. The gorgeous one and I think she's never quite got over being a battery hen, perhaps she was a bit too mentally scarred.

I was also worried about Mabel earlier too, she had "taken to her bed" and Yoko and Omelette were in the run despite the run being open. It is pretty windy today and the trees are making a bit of noise so maybe they don't like that too much, although having said that, they are all out now having some food and scratching around. Hopefully the sunshine will stay for the rest of the day so they can get a good stretch of their legs (and wings).

Thursday, 18 August 2011

Love's Great Adventure

So, I was just about to write a very disparaging blog about the girls and how they had no right to call themselves chickens anymore as they stopped laying eggs. The gorgeous one commented a few days ago about how we might have to actually BUY eggs, now surely that's like having a dog and barking yourself right?

Well, anyway I came home last night from a little celebratory drink with the northern bird (thanks hun, lovely food, bubbly and company) and the gorgeous one told me (you might want to sit down) that we'd had an egg!! I know, amazing. I'm hoping it'll be like waiting for a bus and that we'll get a flurry of eggs now, yes, I do realise that's a bit optimistic but I am a glass half full kind of girl.

Maybe it's a gift to celebrate that the gorgeous one asked me to be Mrs Gorgeous One...

Tuesday, 19 July 2011

Here without you

It seems that when we're away the girls think they can stop laying altogether, hardly any eggs were laid when we were at the wedding and on hols in New York. We think that they don't like to be kept in all the time and will only lay when they have good access to their run and are free to run about. They had free run all over the weekend and then yesterday morning and lo and behold we had a broken egg yesterday and a whole one today!

Friday, 24 June 2011

Saturday night's alright for fighting

Or even Thursday morning... The gorgeous one got up on Thursday and let the girls out as I was going to work from home so they could have a day out. Well, now that the birds (not the girls, other birds) have completely stripped the cherry tree of all its fruit the birds (again, other birds) have started to squabble amongst themselves for whatever is left ( not much). So on this particular morning there were two blackbirds fighting over a cherry and the girls were standing watching them fight. So now it seems we are hosting cage fighting in the back garden, I may have to start charging...

Thursday, 23 June 2011

Up the junction

So I've had this video on my phone for ages that I kept meaning to upload for you chicken fans so here it is. I have called this post Up The Junction, the gorgeous one doesn't think many people will get it, I told him that my chicken fans were smarter than he thinks... okay so the chicken fans in the US might not get it, but the rest will, I'm sure of it - I have faith in you all...

So, anyway here's the video. I made spaghetti and meatballs for the boy child and girl child and the girl child's friend who was here for a sleepover and we had some left over, so instead of chucking it in the bin I decided to chop it up and see if the girls liked it - I think you'll see that they did indeed like it. Now I'm not sure whether it's because they thought they were worms, or they truly did like the pasta tastiness but they scoffed the lot!!!

The following day I made a roast dinner (well, it was Sunday and I am a traditionalist at heart), we also had lots of veg left over (no potatoes or parsnips though, they're everybody's favourites)so the gorgeous one chucked it all in a bowl and gave it to the girls, they do indeed like a bowl of mushed up veg as well as spaghetti. I'm very pleased with that the girls are so into our leftovers as I hate wasting food, although to get treated like this all the time, they need to up the return somewhat, we get one egg a day now (if we're lucky) but the other day we did get 2 for the first time in months - so only one of them need to go in the pot.

I think we all know which one that will be...


Having some video challenges chicken fans, paste this URL into your browser to see the video...

www.youtube.com/watch?v=zqjSZnWYlqc

Friday, 27 May 2011

Share the Land

Picture the scene...

Three chickens pecking at the ground where their food has spilled over the course of the last couple of months and a magpie eating their food from their food bell. Surely it should be the other way round? Anyway, when the magpie had finished the food it had a drink out of their water bell and then hopped off...

The cheek of it!

Wednesday, 25 May 2011

The first picture of you


The girls have very much enjoyed the sunshine today and I thought it would be nice, for you all, to have a new picture of the girls so...

Looking out of the boy child's bedroom window this morning into our neighbours garden (not that we're spies or anything)and we spy a pair of ginger ears poking up out of the long grass. It was a beautiful Charlie Fox and he was enjoying a lovely meal of something - couldn't quite see what it was (and not too sure I wanted to either) but he was having a lovely chomp on whatever it was.

It's quite funny to look out onto next doors garden and see a fox enjoying the sunshine and then look at the back of our garden and see the girls running around in their area. They both seem completely oblivious to each other(which is probably a good thing)but the gorgeous one does get very protective when Charlie is around.

He's gone now (Charlie not the gorgeous one), not sure where but I'm sure he'll be back,but I'm sure he will, the garden next door is a wild animals paradise (aka totally overgrown)and we have seen all sorts of animals including foxes and deer, it's quite nice really.

Tuesday, 24 May 2011

Stop!

I was wrong about the strawberries, the girls do like them, well Omelette and Yoko love them and Mabel can take or leave them. I had left them in their run the other day as I thought they weren't liking them, but when I went back, they were gone! Gone, gone. As in, nothing left. So I gave them the rest of the ones that I had left for the other birdies and they scoffed them too. The gorgeous one said that they liked it best if you mushed them up a bit but Omelette kept going for my fingers instead of the strawberries so that came to a quick stop!

The egg situation has nearly stopped now, we have gone from 3 eggs a day to one every few days. The gorgeous one thinks that it's just their age and that they're probably just past their prime. Obviously the battery farms keep them for the time when they produce the most eggs and then get rid of them when they start to get a bit older, so their best laying days are well behind them. Oh well, lucky they weren't just here for eggs isn't it? I just hope this doesn't mean that we have a limited amount of time left with them, I'm still not sure how long chickens are supposed to live, some web sites say 8 or 9 years and some say 2 to 3 years. I'm not looking forward to finding out I can tell you...

Today they are enjoying the sunshine again in their part of the garden, with their mate, Robin and earlier they had a new friend who was sitting on their fence, it was a Magpie. It seemed to be sitting on the fence talking to the girls, but I'm not sure they speak Magpie...

Wednesday, 18 May 2011

Strawberry Fields Forever

I just gave the girls some strawberries, a few of them were on the turn anyway so a threw a few out for the birds and the girls were looking longingly at me so I chucked a couple over the fence for them too. They pecked around at them for a couple of minutes and then walked off. So, what have we learned today? they're not too keen on strawberries - Robin, they're all yours....

Tuesday, 17 May 2011

Feed the birds


It's been a while eh, chicken fans? Sorry about that, this job of mine is getting in the way of being able to blog on a regular basis!

So, how are the girls? Well, health-wise they seem to be doing just fine, egg-wise, not so much. Yoko is now the only egg laying chicken and the other two are just there to look pretty. Omelette just seems to get bigger and bigger, I'm sure that before too long she'll be able to jump the fence, maybe the eggs that should be laying are building up and she'll explode, then who'll have egg on their faces?

As you can see from the new picture, we now have some pretty flowers to help camouflage the fence. My fingers do seem to have a slight green tinge to them these days as my veggies are also sprouting nicely and having planted them from seed, I feel quite proud (early days yet though eh?). I have also been gifted some potato plants from the wise gardener so we look forward to eating them too.

The chickens sometimes look longingly at the veggie pots as if reminiscing when those pots were just there for them to jump around in and chuck out all the earth (not that was ever the purpose of the pots but that's what they think). I also think that they quite fancy a good peck at the shoots that are showing as well (so not going to happen).

The girls mate Robin is always hanging around with them these days, I guess he knows he's onto a good thing with both protection from the big birds and a constant food source as it does look like most of it ends up on the ground. NB chickenistas, you have to look after the birdies at the minute so the gorgeous one told me the other day. Apparently the ground is too hard and the birdies are struggling to find food so make sure that you all have a fully stocked bird table whilst the weather is so dry. We are able to chuck bread out for the birds again now the chickens are fenced off, we had to stop as they were eating it all and it isn't good for them as it swells too much inside them. This is quite amusing, if a little bit cruel as the girls will watch from the other side of the fence and wonder when some is going to land in their part of the garden. The gorgeous one is too soft and so when chucking out some bread the other day, had to give them a share as well, they can see he's a soft touch I'm sure.

Monday, 18 April 2011

Photograph



Other pictures of the great fence and our veggie pots...

By the way, just in case you were wondering, Sophie (the neurotic cat) is loving this arrangement and is currently re-discovering HER garden. The gorgeous one and I sat out for a "sun-downer" last night and Sophie ventured nearly all the way to the new fence, that was until a leaf moved beside her and made her run back into the safety of the house again.

A Beautiful Day


Another beautiful day yesterday, just right for working hard in the garden and with child labour on offer, who could refuse?!?

The plan was to give the girls their own piece of garden and to get some veggies planted up before it was too late for sowing them. So that's what we did.

The girl child and I planted our veggies in the boxes that the girls had been very happily digging around in until I fenced them off with chicken wire and there was beginning to be more soil out of the pots than in them. We planted beetroot, carrots, parsnips and spring onions and then told the girls that they wouldn't be allowed out to eat them or to jump around in the pots anymore - is that cruel?

The gorgeous one and the boy child worked hard on putting together a fence to keep the girls at the back of the garden, using careful planning, some wood, some chicken wire and a new wood cutter (and very excited the gorgeous one was about that too). They measured it out and made rectangular panels and fixed them to the fence and the tree and they even made a gate! I'm so proud!

Once complete, the girls were let out again to investigate and immediately started looking for weak spots in the perimeter, Mabel went back to see if she could get under the wire again but no, that was totally secure, they went behind the tree to see if perhaps there was a gap in the fence there but no, not there either. After a couple of hundred laps of the fence, they decided that there wasn't any way they were going to be able to get out so they just scratched around a bit, one of their favourite things to do.

Omelette, for some reason known only to her, was doing her seal impression for most of the late afternoon yesterday. This is where she walks around barking like a seal, yes chicken fans, our chicken thinks she's a seal (or a dog, as it sounds like a dog sometimes too). The gorgeous one went into their area and Omelette was barking at him and he asked her if she was having a go at him and I swear that chicken said yes, or made a noise that sounded like a yes. Perhaps they aren't as stupid as we first thought, or maybe I just have spent too much time with them...

Tuesday, 12 April 2011

Escape

Mabel got out! The sneaky chicken worked out she could get under the fence on one side and so she escaped into the rest of the garden. I put her back and she got out again. I put her back and then watched to see how she was getting out. The other two couldn't work it out either - I always knew Mabel was the smart one (well, smart by chicken standards). I have temporarily ensured that she can't get under the fence but she is now just hanging around that area trying to get out again.

The permanent fence will have to be pretty chicken proof... Ha! a chicken proof fence...

Don't fence me in

Omelette is less than pleased with the progression of the garden works. Although they all wanted to help at the weekend when we were levelling the ground in order to build the new shed (which I think we did a pretty good job of actually). When I say help, what I mean is, help by making sure they ate the biggest spiders and the juiciest worms (obviously they aren't any good with a hammer, it's too heavy).

On Sunday they enjoyed the full freedom of the garden for the last time! We built the shed and tidied up the gravel (where they had dug escape tunnels) and replaced the weed membrane where it was supposed to be (under the gravel to stop the weeds coming through) and lovely Nana helped me clear up the leaves from the Red Robin, making a real difference to the look of the garden.

Last night, while I was on a seemingly never-ending train journey from Manchester, the gorgeous one came home and put up a temporary fence to keep the girls at the end of the garden. Now before I get letters of complaint, they still have a great big area for them to run around in, but we get our garden back and when I say 'we' I mean my poor cat too. He also cleaned the decking down and if wood could gleam, this deck would be gleaming, he did a brilliant job on it and I can now go out in bare feet if I want to and I don't have to watch where I step! Yay!

Although, as I said Omelette is less than impressed, Mabel and Yoko seem to be quite happy wandering around scratching and pecking at things, but Omelette is pacing the perimeter looking for weak spots in the fence. She must have walked the length of the fence a hundred times looking for a way out. Behing the shed, beside the tree, at the ends, back behind the shed, just in case she missed something...

Now they're all huddled together like they are plotting something, I must keep an eye on them and make sure they're not tucking dirt under their wings and scattering it as they walk along...

Monday, 21 March 2011

Da doo run, run, run, da doo run, run



The girls new run.

Girls on Film

We're worried about Omelette again. Over the weekend she seems to have lost her spark and is just standing around with her head pulled in and her eyes shut. When I went out earlier to check for eggs, Mabel followed me and even Yoko was quite quick on my heels, but Omelette stood on the decking, looked, saw I didn't have anything of interest and shut her eyes again. I know she's done this before and pulled herself back together again but it is still worrying. Every now and again she'll wander around and peck at a few things, she even chased a Robin away from her food a moment ago but she's not her usual self. There's been no honking, or general stupidness for a few days and that's just not like her.

We also have had a real depletion on the egg production front, moving from 3 eggs nearly every day, to one egg a day and over the weekend we didn't get any at all! No more egg gifts for people now, sorry about that for anyone who was eggspecting any!!! (I am genuinely sorry about that).

They seem to like the extra room they have in their run now, although obviously they like being out in the garden more, I'll post a picture soon to show you the bigger run, although you can also see how different the middle section is to the other piece, stupid chicken house company! (see previous blogs for rant about them), the craftmanship on it is also pretty poor.

Mabel was on telly yesterday, well, on the computer when we skyped with the bessie in Ohio. They think she's beautiful, well she is actually, as chickens go. She didn't seem to mind being on camera and I haven't seen her lording it over the other two now she's famous so that's good. It was also quite funny to watch the gorgeous one try to catch Yoko so she could be on the telly too, but she was having none of it, obviously camera shy.

Mabel just came to investigate a Starling who was collecting leaves and twigs from the garden and is now scouting around where it was to make sure that all the good stuff was left for her! Not sure where Yoko is, maybe she's going to lay us a nice egg, rather than the jelly one we had the other week. It was really strange, like an egg bubble a bit like I imagine breast implants to look (only the breast implants would be bigger as putting an egg sized implant in would be a bit of waste of time right?). I also think that Yoko has been either sitting, treading or laying on her soft shelled eggs. The other day she had loads of straw on her front and when I went to pull it off I couldn't because it was stuck solid with egg!

I see Yoko now and I'll go egg hunting in a minute to see if she's managed to lay a proper egg, I'm going to sign off here now chicken watchers, honk soon.

Saturday, 12 March 2011

Our House

Today, we added the extension of the run for the girls, it has nearly doubled the size of their run and the gorgeous one is very pleased with himself! We had to cobble it together a little bit because of the stupid company that sold it to us sold us the wrong bit (I waited for it to be delivered for 6 months and in that time they changed the specs of the house we bought and so, in turn the run extension. Then they wouldn't change it because I should have known that when I placed my order). the laughable thing was that the company are called "Feel Good", well I certainly didn't!

Anyhoo, we now have a new run, which the girls are trying out now, I think they are liking having so much more space and it does make us feel less guilty if we can't let them out in the garden because we're not in (or it's raining).

We are going to fence off some of the garden for the girls, for a couple of reasons really;
a) They are DESTROYING my garden. I love the girls, you know that, right readers? but I want to have a nice garden where the gravelly bits are full of gravel, not holes where they have decided it would be a good place to tunnel under the fence.
b) They are complete poo machines! I want to be able to go out on the deck without having to watch where I tread for fear of landing in a huge pile of chicken turd, which also stinks.
c) I have a cat on the equivalent of Prozac who has lost her garden too. Now, she was here first so it's a bit unfair really that they have commandeered her garden so hopefully this will mean she will go out there again.
d) I want to be able to have the door open in the summer without having to shoo out chickens, or make a child gate out of a chair (and we couldn't do that now anyway as we have new chairs!)
e) I want to grow veggies, the chickens will want to either eat them or scratch around where they are growing, I know they will!

They will still have a big amount of space to roam around, it'll just be away from the house end of the garden.

I was digging up the ivy at the back of the garden for most of the day and the girls were helping me out. Well, when I say helping me out, they were helping me clear the area of worms and other bugs that came to the surface when I was digging. Mabel ate the biggest spider I have seen in ages, so she became my hero for a little while. I made sure that Yoko got a few extra worms to try to encourage her new feather growth a bit. She has loads of the white fluffy feathers so I'm hoping she might stop looking so scruffy! Don't tell the gorgeous one that you think she looks scruffy though, he gets very protective!

Friday, 25 February 2011

I hear you knocking...


Another delay in writing due to my busy travel schedule for which I do apologise chicken fans...

The girls have been a bit naughty recently and have been eating an egg a day, we weren't sure which chicken was the bad one until the gorgeous one caught Mabel and Omelette in the act this morning! It has meant that we have only had one egg for the last few days but today we have had two whole ones and one partially eaten one. so at least they have all laid today and I can stop threatening them with the pot for one day at least.

I do wish they'd stop knocking at the cat flap as well, it does worry my already super-stressy cat and no matter how many times they knock, I'm not going to let them in!

Omelette has, once more, re-ignited her love for the barbecue and specifically the shelf underneath the cover, she surprised Mabel the other day by appearing from under the cover (I don't think Mabel realised she was there). Perhaps it was all on purpose and the chicken version of SURPRISE!, or maybe it was hide and seek? Who knows how these chickens amuse themselves (actually I do, they amuse themselves by destroying my nice garden)?!?

Speaking of which, Yoko has been digging a nice big hole in the gravel and discovering that it is REALLY dirty underneath the gravel and so she is now filthy. They all have dirty feet but she has dirty feet, a dirty beak. a dirty belly and dirty wings(see picture above). I'd bath her but as you know readers, chickens aren't waterproof are they? Don't ask the girls that cos they think they are...

Friday, 11 February 2011

Living in a Box

Yesterday we had some new furniture delivered, it came in massive great big cardboard boxes with polystyrene inserts to protect my lovely new table and chairs. Once the furniture was out of the boxes, the gorgeous one put the boxes in the garden until the weekend when we could get rid of them. Well, guess which 3 stupid chickens think that cardboard boxes and polystyrene would be a great addition to their crumb diet?

we have had to put the boxes on top of the garden swing chair and some on top of the table to get it off the floor because despite telling them that it wasn't good for them, they didn't listen (do they ever?) and decided to peck through the cardboard anyway. Now we have moved them out of harms (or chickens) way, the girls look completely lost, like a kid that's had its new toy taken away from it! I did try to tell them that it's for their own good but they're just looking at me as if I'm a complete killjoy.

On another note, two eggs today, both a little bit odd looking. One with a very pointy end and one with a very, very creased shell. The one with the pointy end, I picked up this morning from the perching (!) area, it was just by the door out to the run and was there as if it just plopped out when one of them was on their way out!

Due to the rain yesterday, the ground has been quite damp so on venturing out this morning, Omelette found a great big worm which she ran off with to scoff by herself which she had done by the time the other two realised that she had something interesting. Greedy guts.

Wednesday, 9 February 2011

Red Alert

The house is on full on red alert today. Yesterday, the gorgeous one worked from home and saw an enormous fox sunning himself in next door's garden. He was just laying there grooming himself with our girls running around in the garden not more than 10 feet from him. He did run away when the gorgeous one knocked on the window and gave him a Paddington Bear hard stare... well who wouldn't?

Today I have had two lovely eggs from Yoko and Mabel, I know it was them as I was trying to clean out the house and both of them made me leave them alone for some "private" time and when I went back, lovely warm eggs from them. Normal shape, normal size, nice colour, lovely shells. Definitely Omelette that lays the stupid ones.

Omelette and I had a cuddle earlier - I know! She normally runs a mile before you can get anywhere near her but I snuck up behind her and picked her up for a lovely stroke and cuddle. I do think I enjoyed it much more than she did!

I have also been out and taken some video of the girls in the garden, we played a little game of chase, which Yoko didn't quite have the hang of and we looked for eggs. Unfortunately, I forgot to turn the video off so there is a bit at the end where I am walking back to the house and talking to them, this is how I talk to them when I think no-one is listening. Sorry if the end makes you feel a bit sea sick I didn't know how to edit this bit out....

Happy chicken watching x
video

Friday, 4 February 2011

Tiny Alien



Just a quick one today chicken fans, wanted to make sure I posted the egg pictures as promised, the egg on the right is the normal size...

Saturday, 29 January 2011

Rockin' Robin

Aah, today, the chickens mate, the robin, brought his mate round to see them. We now have a pair of robins who are totally into the girls, perhaps for the lovely sharing of food more than for the stimulating company though. It seems like they are quite friendly and one even sat on the shed door whilst the gorgeous one was cleaning out the girls house. They don't seem too afraid which is nice and have stayed quite close to the food source!

The girls are getting a good clean out today (as usual for the weekend) and we went and got them a special treat of their particular favourites - mealworms. I was feeding them to them and trying to make sure that they all got an equal share of them but Mabel and Omelette seemed to think that my fingers were also mealworms. All I can say to that is OUCH!!! Yoko walked off with hers and was clucking rather loudly, almost like she was talking to it before she ate it.

We've been going through a 3 egg phase recently, not everyday we get three, but on a few occasions recently we've had one egg per chicken, which is nice. Although the gorgeous one has discovered that one of the girls is laying their egg in the perching area of the nesting box and then burying them underneath the straw. Luckily today the egg was found but the other day the gorgeous one put his trowel (that he uses to pick up the poo) straight through it as it buried so well. Today is a 3 egg day. The eggs were very cold as the temperature seems to have dropped somewhat in the last couple of days so we have made them some warm porridge from their crumb, some of the mineral to help them produce strong shells and a few porridge oats on the top. Pour in hot water and there you have it a lovely warm treat for them. I think it absolutely stinks and looks like mud, but the girls seem to enjoy it, so no accounting for taste is there?

We did have another weird egg the other day, which I did take pictures of and will post them to the blog shortly. We think that somehow a Quail got in and laid an egg in their nest....

Sunday, 9 January 2011

Let 'em in

Happy New Year chicken fans!

Now the snow is gone the chickens are once again enjoying (destroying) the garden, although after all the rain we've had they're wading around a little at the minute! On Thursday I worked from home and it rained like mad all day, we had let them out in the garden when it wasn't raining too hard and the girls were enjoying being out and about but then even when the rain started to pour they still thought they could wander around as usual - d'oh. Eventually we had to shut them in their run as they were all saturated. How many times do I have to tell them that they are NOT waterproof!?!

Omelette is absolutely lovely looking now (and is huge!)but has sprouted white feathers on her head making her very distinctive looking! She is also concerning the gorgeous one as her comb has gone a bit pale which can mean they are under the weather, but it can also mean that they are a bit broody. It will be interesting if she is broody because she's not laying proper eggs so I'm not sure how she would try and hatch and egg with a hole in it or an egg with a jelly shell!

Yoko is now the scruffy one, but has got new feather growth on her wings, lovely white fluffyness coming through under her other feathers. She seemed to be getting a bit bullied by the other two and she was wandering around by herself a lot when the other two went off together. However, now she seems to be back in the fold, I hope they're not picking on her because she's not as pretty as the others.

Mabel continues to be the mother hen, laying lovely eggs and looking like the beautiful Warren chicken she was born to be! She is the one who sleeps by herself now in the nesting box while the other two sleep together in the perching (ha) area.

Anyway, bessie mate (OH) suggested that I upload some video of them doing stupid things (normal day then) so I'll work on that and get some uploaded as soon as I can. We Skyped yesterday and she got to see them all lined up against the patio doors, it's common picture these days, they even knock on the windows!

A few nights ago the gorgeous one and I were sitting in the dining room and it was all dark. We'd let the girls put themselves to bed as usual when we heard a tapping at the window. One of the girls had come and was banging at us - funny, we thought. As they all should have been in bed, the gorgeous one went to check on them and to shut them in for the night. When he got to the house he saw a chicken under the house so we went to pick her up and put her in the house. That's when he realised that it wasn't just one chicken, it was three and where he'd cleaned out the girls earlier that day he'd shut their house up and not opened it again! I think that one of the girls came to say "Oi! You've shut us out!".