That’s what we have here! We USED to have a garden, it was lovely, all green and had flowers, and a pebble pool, even a little wildlife pond! We would sit out in the evening, with our chiminea it, and soak up the evenings with a glass or three of chilled wine, and talk a load of nonsense.

NOW we have something resembling a bog, NO really it IS! The pond is in dire need of cleaning out and refilling, the white gravel that had a lovely medicine wheel in the centre made of super cobbles is long gone, buried under much earth and detritus. There are now NO plants under 3 feet high, and in many places there are round holes gouged out of the earth that USED to be flower beds.

Now, you may ask what catastrophe has befallen our once blooming garden? What has happened to change all this and turn it into a bog? Well I can tell you it was no catastrophe, and the Garden Pixies didn’t get upset with us and take it all away. What happened was this…

We rehomed some ex battery hens! Folks this is by far THE best thing we have ever done! I cannot imagine life without chooks ever again. We (well I but then Adrian thought it might be a good idea as well) decided just over a year ago, that we had room for a few chooks in the postage stamp we call a garden. A coop was found, bought new from Ebay, and delivered AND put together by the guy we bought it from, and all we had to do then was wait for Rescue Day. All too soon, we were setting off and collected the first 4 girls we ever owned. OH MY! If only we knew then what we know now!

The first few days were as traumatic for us as they were for the girsl, Rosie, Daisy, Henrietta and Violet. They had no idea how to drink water from a drinker, so we had to show them, they didn’t know how to get up the ramp from the run to the roosting section, so Adrian had to crawl in there and help them up till they learned how. I worried constantly that they wouldn’t settle, that we didn’t know enough, that we would do something wrong and they would die. But they didn’t, they thrived!

Slowly their missing feathers grew back, and they started looking less oven ready by the day. Then came the day we let them out of the run to investigate the garden. OH WHAT JOY! I was nearly crying, they very gingerly stepped through the door into the outside, somewhere they had NEVER been! Then they began scratching around, nibbled the plants and started to dust bathe as well. To see them having so much fun and wonderment was TRULY magical.

I can watch my chooks for hours. Each one has a different character, and we have more now as well. We have lost 3 in recent months, and over the year, a couple only lasted a few weeks, and were replaced with more, those cages REALLY shorten their lives, and some just don’t seem able to carry on.

So we try to keep our ‘flock’ to 10, we are down to 7 at the moment, but next week 3 more will arrive to replenish the coop. There WILL be some spats, there always are, and we need to make sure that the new girls don’t get TOO bullied and get their share of the food, but after a few days, all settles down, the pecking order is sorted once more, and off they go.

Poultry keeping ISN’T for everyone, but if YOU think you have room for a couple of chooks, and trust me you CAN have them in small gardens, you won’t go wrong with rehoming some of these girls. They WILL give you hours of pleasure, AND fresh beautiful eggs EVERY day, but not from every bird every day, we average about 5-7 eggs per day from 10 birds, and we ALWAYS have a waiting list of people wanting to buy them!

So if you DO want more info, just check out this website http://www.bhwt.org.uk/ They do a FANTASTIC job, and you too can have the joys of keeping backyard hens!

Advertisements