Posts Tagged chickens

Goats and piglets

Yesterday we went to Emma’s farm in Ham to buy 4 more chooks.  We have brought from her before, the chooks are reasonable and good layers. We got 4 Rhode Rock black tails and brought them home to join the flock, as we have lost a couple of hens through natural causes recently.

Whilst there we went to see Emma’s other animals.  She has a turkey called Paxo who is just a pet, not for eating, several dogs and pigs and a few orphan lambs she was bottle feeding.

But her big goat was the one that got my attention.  He leaned up out of his stall and I got the impression he wanted to plant a kiss on me!!  I tried not to get too near, but he was a handsome fella.

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She also had 2 large white pigs who had just had litters.

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One pig had 10 piglets and the other had 12 really tiny ones, just a day old that were snuggled up to Mum under the heat lamp.

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I do love seeing all the animals and wish we had space for some pigs and lambs but for now 22 chickens will have to do.

Come and visit the chickens at our B&B http://www.lodgehousebandbsomerset.co.uk

 

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Spring chicken thank you

Our guests who have been staying with us for 5 nights commented on how we had a chicken theme going with the crockery, the table mats, the pictures on the wall and some chicken ornaments.  We said “naturally” as we have 24 hens and one cockerel, we liked to keep to a theme.

Our guests really enjoyed their stay and on the last morning presented us with another chicken ornament which they said they just had to buy us when they saw it.  Hence “Spring chicken” has joined the flock. It’s a bit like a Wallace and Gromit figure. What a lovely thank you present!!

If you want to see our chicken collection or even our live chickens then stay with us at http://www.lodgehousebandbsomerset.co.uk

 

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4 new hens

Having had a couple of recent fatalities in the hen run (due to natural causes I hasten to add, no fox treats here), we decided to add to our brood and yesterday purchased 4 new hens from Darren at Manor Fram in Ilminster.

All 4 hens are point-of-lay so not chicks, and we were able to put them in with the flock straight away.

Two hens are known as “Silver Rocks”.  They are mostly black with silver streaks.  Here is Neil holding one.

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Our other two hens are a “Sussex Rocket” which is white with little black and a “Rhode Rock” which is black with a golden bib.  I’m afraid I don’t have pictures of those two as my camera ran out of puff and today whilst it is charged up, it is raining so not a day for pictures.  I’m wondering how our new girls are liking the rain, having been kept in a barn up until now and not having encountered the rain.  We shall have to see how they get on and when they start laying.

Want to see our birds, then come and stay at our B&B.

http://www.lodgehousebandbsomerset.co.uk

 

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Visit to Ferne Animal Sanctuary

On Sunday we dodged the rain to take Neil’s sister Carole to Ferne Animal Sanctuary, where both our pussycats came from. There were some lovely cats there and some adorable kittens that make  you want to take them home with you, but maybe 2 cats is enough!!

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at Ferne

Waddling along the path were some happy ducks.

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The Ducks have a big pond to swim in and several of them were just sitting about by the pond.

The pigs looked content, one of them was wallowing in the mud.

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There is a lovely wooded area where chickens run free and another pond for the geese.

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We stopped for an ice cream to finish the afternoon off and some chickens were pecking at our feet.

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There were also some handsome chicks picking over the grubs on the dung heap!!

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If you want to visit Ferne it is only a couple of miles from our B&B. http://www.lodgehousebandbsomerset.co.uk

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Planting trees and amusing the chickens

Over the past week we have been planting out more fruit trees into what is our small orchard, which currently doubles up as the chicken run. Neil would dig a hole and the chickens would come flocking around to grab the worms and then run off with them, being chased by the other chickens trying to get the worm off her. They were so funny to watch.

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Even when the trees were planted the hens were still milling around picking up the worms.

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Our handsome Apenzeller cockerel who we call “Ted” was crowing loudly, as much as to say to his girls “Come and get the worms!!”

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The chickens were all having a wonderful time pecking the worms and running around.  Glad to provide amusement for them, as they lay us such lovely eggs.

 

 

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Chasing cockerels

Two lovely Rhode Island Red chickens that we got from a local poultry farm have grown up into handsome cockerels. We bought them on the understanding that we could take them back if they turned out to be males, so earlier this week we arranged just that, but of course first we had to catch them.

We have bought ourselves a landing net from a fishing shop.  It is large enough to capture a whole chicken, but of course when they run they are fast, and they definitely know when you are after them and they dodge here and there.  So we had a plan.  We would both get up at 6.45 am and go down to the hen house to let the chickens out as it got light.  But we would do it in a controlled manner and as each of the Rhode Island Reds came down the ramp we would catch them in the net and transfer them to a travelling box.  So I controlled the door and Neil held the net.  This method worked remarkably well and we succeeding in catching both cockerels without having to chase them round the enclosure.

This was somewhat different to the last time we did this when we had to take back a really beautiful French Copper Maran crossed with a Speckled Sussex.

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Here’s Neil with this handsome chappie.  Him we had to chase round and round the enclosure. There are trees in the hen run so of course when you are chasing them they dash from behind one tree to the next and you are always going the other way, so it is quite difficult.

Altogether we have had to take back 5 cockerels.  We also hatched 4, two of which have now gone to new homes and we are left with 2, “Boots” who is a Brahma and has feathered legs and when he runs he looks like he has his hands in his pockets, and “Ted” who is an Appenzeller who has a teddy boy top knot hence his name.  These 2 with the 21 hens we have are having a great time and we have a happy flock of well socialised chickens.  We got 16 eggs today so they are really laying well at the moment, no complaints.

Lots of eggs for our B&B guests.  On Tuesday morning I asked our guests “What colour egg would you like for your breakfast?”  One person chose the blue one and one chose the olive one, and I sold them 6 eggs to take away, so our eggs are popular.

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An “egg”traordinary number of eggs

In the storms we have had recently,  one section of roof off the old hen house blew off.  We know that we need to dismantle the old hen house and move it out of the hen enclosure, but the weather has been bad and we haven’t got round to that yet.  Anyway today Neil was feeding the hens and he noticed one come out of the old hen house through the broken roof.  So he had a look inside and lo and behold some of the hens had been laying their eggs in there and this is what he found – 21 eggs!!

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Some of the eggs were still warm, so quite fresh today, but others were stone cold so we aren’t sure how old those eggs are and if they are still edible or not.

The hens have taken to perching on the old hen house, the broken roof is on the other side of the roof in this picture.

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So now we are going to have to check the nest box of the old hen house every day until we take it down. Funny lot these hens!!

We have vacancies in the B&B for February and March, so if you fancy a Winter break please get in touch.

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