07 April 2015

F is For


...my 'FAT LITTLE LADIES'

I am taking part in the A-Z April Blog Challenge 
Join me every day (except Sundays) 
throughout April for the next letter in the alphabet!


I suppose this one ought to be under H as I'm mostly talking about my hens... but H is already taken by something else... curious how I got the title? Read on!




We have lots of birds in the garden - along with the hens (and the ducks and the goose... but they will appear in a later post)
If you enjoy bird-watching this is the place to come. My husband puts bird seed and fat balls out every morning during winter, and the seed in spring to help the adults feed their young. Some days it is like a Saturday lunchtime at a branch of MacDonalds on the Feeders it is so busy!

Woodpeckers, chaffinches, blue tits, great tits, bullfinches, wrens, nuthatches, sparrows, robins, greenfinches, goldfinches... and the occasional hen


Beneath (or on) the bird table and  feeders in the orchard the hens scratch and rummage and have the most delicious day-long feast. Of a morning and evening the Pheasant Family (ha ha the Feasants!) take their turn. We often see about six or sevens females while a big fat, brightly coloured cock bird struts about keeping an eye open for Baz our dog who's favourite pastime is Pheasant Chasing. The females quietly fade away into the hedges - Sir Fat Feasant makes a huge clucking noise as he heaves his bulk into the air with a great flapping of wings and feathers.
(Ok that's enough of featuring the F's!)

Ron and Kathy with two female pheasants
and a good game of Chase!
We now have seven hens (sadly one got caught by the fox) Two are named: Buffy and Snowy... it isn't that the others aren't named, they just happen to all look similar and with my fading eyesight I can't always tell them apart - so they are all collectively "the Girls".


Hens are very intelligent, they waddle about, quite content,  but when they run they look for all the world like fat little ladies gathering up their skirts and revealing their big bloomers underneath. They are funnier when the run - and they run often, you only have to go to the back door and call "Chook, chook, chook!" and they're there  bright black eyed looking at you expectantly for titbits. 

They eat anything and everything. Their own chicken grain and layers mash and grit - but also all our household scraps, fruit, veg, meat ... they love sweet corn and chow mien!







They are also very good for the garden because they grub up the slugs and snails.




And at bed time they all happily troop into their chicken shed and put themselves to bed.

If you've seen the cartoon movie Chicken Run... believe me I can well imagine my hens doing their knitting, putting the kettle on, having a disco-bop and trying to tunnel out the orchard.... they already have a Secret Entrance because I often find a couple of them happily scratching up the banks along the lane.





Apart from the fun that they provide... the eggs are free range gorgeous!




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16 comments:

  1. What a great post! Loved the photos (fotos?) and the feasants. Chickens always make me smile.

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    1. Thanks Nadine - I must admit to being very fond of my ladies! :-)

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  2. chickens make me giggle too. I have a friend with free range hens and she gives me the best eggs! there is nothing better than a quiche made with free range eggs. now I'm making myself hungry.

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    1. My favourite is eggy soldiers - boiled egg with slices of bread thickly buttered with Devon butter... or dipping fresh asparagus into a boiled egg... yum!

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  3. Sounds like the chickens earn their keep. I had to chuckle at Sir Feasant trying to intimidate Baz!

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    1. LOL male pheasants are such pompous birds yet so utterly silly!

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  4. I love the photos :) My first real encounter with hens was at my god mother's house when we were house sitting for them when my twin and I could only have be six or seven. My father in his wisdom decided to catch a hen to show up one up close - yeah, poor hen ran away with less tail feathers because he missed and only got a feather or two. We had to collect the eggs anyway and some of them were broody so it wasn't like we couldn't see one up close in the hen house! :)
    Tasha
    Tasha's Thinkings | Wittegen Press | FB3X (AC)

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    1. Chickens are so intelligent - they often troop up to the door into my study and peck on the glass to get my attention, knowing full well I'll have something tasty for them to eat (usually biscuit/cookie crumbs! )

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  5. I was thinking of the movie Chicken Run as I read this.

    I didn't realize they'd eat just about anything. (And we had chickens when I was little.)

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    1. You name it they eat it... the only thing I draw the line at is left-over scraps of chicken (the dogs get those!)

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  6. I grew up around chickens, and would run away when one was being slaughtered for Sunday dinner. Grandmother was adept at beheading. . .as for me I was afraid of the big Rooster who stayed in the same area as the coop.I decided I'm not really the farm girl type, give me the big city. Loved your photos.

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    Replies
    1. So sorry - I thought I'd replied to you! We don't have a rooster, just the hens, and I must admit.... I couldn't eat one!

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  7. This is great! I love it!

    John Holton
    Blogging from A to Z 2015 Cohost
    The Sound of One Hand Typing

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    1. sorry - I thought I'd replied :( thanks for dropping by, I'll pop over to your blog asap

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  8. Great post, Helen! Feasants, feeders, fotos, fox and all the other f words you used!

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Thank you for leaving a comment your interest is very much appreciated! It will be published as soon as possible - depending on whether I am at my computer or walking up the lane, or being chased by the goose or helping mend fences after the pony has broken through YET AGAIN.... :-)
Helen