Archive for french drain

Chickens in the mud

The chickens are paddling.  We have had so much rain this week that the run outside the hen house is just squelching in mud and puddles.  But do the chickens mind? No not one bit.  In fact they just paddle in the mud and drink from the puddles.  Mind you their feathers get wet and muddy and then the eggs they lay are muddy too.

I think the chickens like paddling.  Earlier this year we put out large trays of water for them, as they were drinking their water drinker dry daily, so we wanted them to have access to more water.  Rather than perch on the side of these trays to drink, they get right in, and stand in the water to drink. They are funny creatures.

Anyway Neil is trying to cure the problem by creating a new drain to drain water away from the hen run.  He has dug a big trench, about one foot deep, running from the hen house down the hill to the french drain.  He is going to get some porous drain pipe to put in the trench to lead the water out to the french drain.  Hopefully this will stop the land around the hen house from being so squelchy with sitting water.

It’s strange to think that in the East of England there is still a drought, with reservoirs short on water for this time of year, and here we are with an excess of water!!

The mud has not stopped the hens from laying.  We are regularly getting 6 or 7 eggs a day, and the blue ones have begun to get bigger as the Cream Legbar gets more developed.  We  have 2 Cream Legbar hens, so hopefully the other one will come into lay soon, and then we will get 2 blue eggs at a time.

If you want to taste blue eggs visit us at

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All about the french drain

We have been having some work done down the back in the paddock.  Because it is on a hill the water runs down and accumulates into puddles, so we decided to have a french drain put in.  Why it is called a “French” drain, rather than any other sort I don’t know.

Len digging a trench

Anyway, first Len the farmer came with his digger and dug a trench

Len and Neil unravelling the pipe

Then he unravelled some porous pipe and laid it into the trench.

The trench gets filled in with large gravel

The next stage was to cover the pipe with large size gravel until it is completely filled. There was 20 tons of gravel and over 100 metres of drain.

finished french drain and landscaping

Len also brought a large amount of top soil which he laid beside the french drain and some road plainings which were laid the other side to form a road down to the oil tank.

In the Spring we will seed the topsoil with lawn seed and then Neil will be able to mow it to keep it looking tidy.  We also anticipate putting in some more raised vegetable beds and maybe an additional tree or two to the orchard.  Taking the fence down that used to run between the paddock and the hardcore has opened up the vista and we are really pleased with the result.

We had a lot of rain over the last few days and Neil went down to see if the french drain was working well, which it was.  Here it is at the outlet end tipping water into the woods.

water flowing out at the end of the french drain

Come and see all the landscaping for yourself.  visit

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