Too long

It’s been too long since my last post … we were away for two weeks, but since coming back I have been busy. It’s complicated, but in four days this week, besides all our clothing, I washed enough bedding for 13 beds :o There were clean beds for the people staying at our house, clean beds for the place we stayed, plus girls swapping beds as they came and went to different summer camps (CPAS Ventures) and clean beds when we came home … I didn’t realise I had enough bed linen for that many beds in the first place :doh:

And then there was results day … DD1 has her place at the University of her choice, and DD2 has her expected grades at AS level … an exciting day all round. But altogether too much distraction to spend time at my desk writing blog posts. However, we have not neglected our girls in the meanwhile.

In the end, although we had people to stay while we were away, our regular chicken lady came to look after the hens. She is an absolute treasure and we are so grateful to her for making the whole hen keeping adventure possible. I made a supply of peck blocks to keep them occupied, but came home to find them still in the house and the ones we left for the girls almost untouched … so I won’t do that again. It’s strange that they are not really interested in them.

Bertha is looking beautiful, but remains at the bottom of the pecking order. She’s clearly learned to keep out of the way as her feathers are intact. Unlike Betsy and Babs who are showing signs of pecking … it’s clearly not a moult since Betsy still has the shaft of most of her feathers :angry: Millie, too, has lost yet more … no tail and a bare behind, but she remains the friendliest hen of the bunch. Mandy always seems to me to be cross with everyone around her … perhaps that’s her role as second-in-command. While Molly, at the top of the hen hierarchy, who doesn’t need to reinforce her position, still seems unnecessarily  aggressive from time to time. But we love them all, just the same!


We had hardly any bantam eggs while we were away, and the reason soon became clear …


Yes, they’re broody again … all of them! At least, five of them are committed, while the remaining individual seems instead to hover in the background, not able to force her way into the melee in the nest boxes, but unwilling to spend time on her own in the run.

And if you look carefully at the litter tray in the background, you’ll see that someone is moulting! It started yesterday, and today there is a cloud of feathers, although we’ve not yet identified which hen they are from.

They have so many feathers, it’s hard to tell when they’ve lost a few …


… perhaps the girl nearest you in the photo … she’s looking a bit ragged :D

The Moppet House has suffered from the falling apples, still not yet ripe, but large and heavy they are landing on the perspex roofing and splitting it in places. I need to find a solution, but we’ll probably not do anything in the immediate future … just too much else to plan (and fund) as DD1 begins to think about the practicalities of leaving home. It is relatively sheltered under the tree … which is good since the heatwave is long since over, and it seems that autumn may already have begun …


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  1. Welcome back. I remember the results time and one of my boys setting off to uni and the other to college. Both are now settled in their jobs, own homes and with partners.

    All your girls are looking really good. What a broody bundle your Moppets are. I have missed seeing their cuteness. Good to have you back.

  2. Hope you enjoyed the break, we too went away, and came back to exam results, but another 2 years before no. 5 leaves home. We also have two new residents, Doris and Freda, some Light Wessex cross we think. Will blog about them later. Meanwhile it’s back to the grindstone…..


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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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