Tuesday, 16 October 2012

Those crazy chooks!

We recently acquired four chickens (apologies to purists who prefer the more precise and purposeful noun - 'hens'). I use 'we' in the loosest sense as really I had no part in this decision and I wasn't too enamoured at first with the idea at all.  I find those beady eyes and the unpredictable flapping a bit disconcerting.  My mean-spirited response to their arrival was that they had better be L's birthday present as I envisaged the great expense required in purchasing materials for a kind of poultry-style Grand Designs not to mention the extortionate veterinary bills to treat some unknown bubonic chicken illness they would be sure to develop.

Betty Blue and Nugget
Cove Hen House
However, so far, I have been proved wrong in my misgivings.  Cove Hen House has been fashioned out of an existing garden shed and various objects already languishing in the barn including a rabbit hutch and a wooden frame from a fabric wardrobe of all things. In an attempt to help me 'bond' and to encourage the girls to look after them, we have each been assigned a hen of our own.  Mine is somewhat of an oddity. Dorothy is a 'hybrid' (don't ask me what this means in genetic modifications of the chicken variety). She is a peculiar colour mixture of grey and black giving her a sort of dotty appearance (hence the name).
Crazy Dorothy

Whilst the others do expected chicken verbs- pecking, scratching and squawking, she indulges in, quite frankly, rather psychotic behaviours such as staring for inordinately long periods of time at the wall, chasing sparrows and head-butting the bushes.  She is the only one not to have done her duty so far and lay an egg and she is definitely the ring leader when it comes to great escape episodes over the garden wall and into the neighbouring turnip field.  Nevertheless, she has a sort of chickadee charm and I am warming to her, though if I have to chase her down the lane one more time, doing my own version of a crazy strictly chicken dance, then I may be warming the oven!

Linking this post up with 3 Children and It and Oldies but Goodies 


  1. She does look like a hen with character, she even has a regal appearance! Interesting read! #oldiesbutgoodies

  2. You're so brave! My husband is desperate for chickens (hens) but I'm just not at all keen....don't they attract vermin aka rats who are after their food? They do look rather fun though, I just don't fancy the work involved! Thanks for linking up to #oldiesbutgoodies

    1. They're not too much work but then so far the girls have been good about looking after them. Being free-range it does mean that the food is out and we often appear to be feeding most of the wild bird population as well! We haven't had a problem with rats especially though being very rural with farmland around us you do see an occasional rat, fortunately at a distance!