Wednesday, 28 March 2012


In case you've been wondering where I've been recently, here's a clue!

Yes, we have chickens! A week ago we collected 3 ex-commercial laying hens from the lovely people of British Hen Welfare Trust, a UK charity dedicated to rehoming battery & caged chickens.
They rescue thousands of chickens each year that are destined for the slaughterhouse, usually less than a year old, because they are no longer commercially viable for egg laying.
I firmly believe that a chicken has the right to scratch at the soil, peck at insects and feel the sun on her back. I also believe in taking responsibility for the food I eat (so I doubt I'll ever have my own cows, so I'll make do with milk & butter from local organically reared dairy cows).
This isn't a lecture, we all need to decide where our own personal line in the sand is when it comes to our impact on the environment.

But eggs aren't the only reason to keep chickens. They add life to the garden, poop to the compost heap (and so much of it!) and soft burbling chatter while you're sowing seeds, pulling weeds or otherwise bimbling about in the garden. They'll also take care of those troublesome slugs you've collected up from the vegetable beds (so you don't have to do anything unpleasant with salt or scissors) and weeds too. Due to some crackerarsed government thinking, you can't feed kitchen scraps to chickens if you're planning on selling your eggs. Our scraps get chopped up before being chucked out for their delectation, or cooked & mashed into their morning feed.

Being ex-battery hens, our girls are quite raggedy-looking, and still learning how to act like chickens (it has been a delight to watch their first attempts at scratching, dust bathing and having a good old stretch & run around in the mornings). But feathers will regrow, and I hope we'll be able to enjoy their company for many years, and give them a life worth living.

The brown envelopes offer is still open, so please do get in touch if you're interested. To all you lovely folks who have already been in touch, there are envelopes on their way to you, and good luck with this years growing!

Okay, I'm off to sow some potatoes (I say sow potatoes, but I'll probably just end up watching chickens sunbathing!)


Shaheen said...

Its a good day to be relaxing and watching the chooks. Thanks for sharing the pics. I planted some potatoes at my Dads NEW allotment a couple of days ago, will share more about that later.

Hope your wellx

Sensory Dragon said...

Aaah, chickens! they're on my list for the garden too. I'm not quite ready to get any yet as I still have to finish off the veg garden area; but maybe towards the end of the year I can begin to prepare a run and house for some. Lucky you!

philippa_moore said...

I dream of the day I have my own backyard large enough to keep chickens. Your girls look like they will be in paradise :)

Thank you for my brown envelopes!! I am so excited about planting them. So sweet of you! x

littleblackfox said...

Hello & thank you for your lovely comments!
I can't recommend chickens enough, they are such lively, inquisitive creatures! After a couple of weeks of being nervous, our girls have really opened up, and come running when they see me! It's such a delight, and the couple of eggs we get a day doesn't hurt either :)

Jane Aston said...

Hello, it's very good of you to think of these chickens. I can't imagine how excited they must be to have somewhere to roam. We have geese 2 and 2 ducks. I am hoping for chickens this spring.
My seeds arrived today, I have already planted the sweet corn! So sweet of you to do this.
Thanks so much.

Zoe said...

Aww they look so cute! I would love chickens and if I were to have my own I would like to rescue some ex-battery hens. I definitely agree with your ethos of growing your own, it is great to know the source of your food.

Greenorchid said...

I'm so pleased for your lucky girls to have found a natural and loving home!! I've not the space for chickens sadly so give sanctuary to frogs and hedgehogs to munch through my slugs...

Choclette said...

Oh how wonderful. To give a proper life to some chickens is just the best. I remember a friend of my mother's taking in battery hens when I was a child and it was such a delight to watch them grow from bald frightened things to bold, healthy and happy hens.

I've been meaning to take you up on your brown envelope offer and hadn't got around to it, so will do so now. It's a lovely idea.