It’s raining again …

… but the forecast for Friday is dry. However, DH is expecting to go into town on Friday, too … so I’m not too sure how much we’ll get done on The Moppet House.

They are OK in with the ex-batts, they’ve learned to take avoiding action as necessary, but the ex-batts are still fairly vicious with their discipline if a Moppet strays over the line. And although our egg numbers are good, we would still like to get a couple of other hens sometime soon. So giving The Moppets their own space seems the ideal solution. DH is still not keen on the little dears – he’d rather have a proper sized hen. But I’m enjoying the eggs. I wouldn’t particularly want more ‘true bantams’ – they weren’t our choice and I prefer the chutzpah of the ex-batts – but I think I might enjoy a diminutive Sussex for example. Perhaps one day. For now we have enough to be going on with :rolleyes:

Bantams have a reputation for going broody at the drop of … well, an egg! So far, removing the egg/s makes them give up for the day. However, they are still determined. This morning I found two hens in the next box … an ex-batt laying, and a bantam waiting right by her side to snaffle the egg the moment the layer moved :o

Bantam eggs are delightful for being so small and perfect – but they are useful as well as cute. I often need an eggwash for bread or scones and a large egg (our ex-batt eggs aren’t simply large, they’re enormous!) often means some gets wasted. A bantam egg is ideal. It’s useful too if you want to halve a recipe that needs just one normal sized egg. And I’m really looking forward to making Scotch eggs with the bantam eggs, for a picnic at the weekend!

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  1. Glad they are settling in, mine are laying again now , neighbours say the foxes and pinemartins are busy though, so I must remember to shut them up promptly at night.

  2. Loving reading your blog. I recently moved to a house with a garden and nurtured an idea of getting an eglu and a couple of hens with feathery feet….until I moved in, that is and realised the place is a hot bed of urban foxes. So I hope you wont mind me following your exploits vicariously…!

    • The Eglu is fox proof … and even in a small garden you might be able to make space for a short length of electric fence? I’d be sad to think you want to keep hens but can’t 😦

      My hen sitter is such a blessing because she too would like to keep hens herself, but her husband isn’t too keen, so she shares mine. But you can’t cuddle a hen over the internet …

      • Thank you so much for your reply, and you are right the internet is rubbish for cuddling a hen! I never thought about an electric fence but wonder if my cats would run into bother with it. They only get out when I am in the garden so I dont think they’d be an issue for hens with a bit of care and thought. My previous pets were a cat and a budgie and both were well loved and kept safe so birds and cats are do-able I think. I might just have to wait till I get my retirement place in the Peak District to indulge my desire to have a new-laid egg for brekkie from one of my feathered frends. Till then I’ll be avidly following yours, even if I cant get a cuddle of one.


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  • The Hen House Archive

    Our original hen keeping adventure came to an end in January 2013, when a fox took our entire brood of hens. But don’t let that put you off … you can find the story at The Hen House Archive where there are still lots of stories, photos, and information about keeping hens I hope you'll find useful.

    March 2017 ... All change in the hen garden as the fruit cage run is retired in favour of an electric fence, the veg beds are relocated to put the hens on fresh ground, and the new girls arrive, Dorcas, Delilah and Deanna.

    January 2017 ... Bird flu outbreak and all domestic foul are quarantined until the end of February.

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