Friday, 19 April 2013

Egg hunting and the girls are in the garden with Teddy


I let the girls out this afternoon. We try to give them "garden time" whenever possible- they love scratching about in the grass (and non-existent flower beds) and I think it makes them happier. Friends ask how we get them back into their run when they've been "free-ranging." The answer is simple: I have a call that they all come running too. I taught them when they were babies and now they come hurtling from whichever bit of the garden they happen to be whenever they hear it, wings flapping, legs pumping. M tried to replicate the call (a kind of high-pitched "chuck chuck chuck") once and rather deliciously they all ignored him. It was a moment worthy of a video but he's refused point blank to repeat it since (he relies on a bucket of bird seed instead, which gets results but in a much less impressive I-can-talk-to-the-animals way).

This afternoon the sun was shining, the birds were singing, Teddy was by me on the wall licking my nose in his version of a kiss while the girls roamed about chatting softly and eating grass. All was peaceful. I had the camera and the video camera to hand (ten points for organisation). Here are the results... (you should be able to hear the blackbird in the background and at some point the robin sings in the hedge. I was as still as a statue - I think he and the blue tit forgot I was there. Magical!).




I'm a bit concerned about Ren, our Cuckoo Maran. All the girls are getting on and although she's still laying she spends much of her day sitting down. Her breathing is heavy but I don't think she's in any pain. I suspect she is just getting old and is more comfortable taking the weight off. I know you shouldn't have favourites and I do love all our girls, but there is something special about Ren.



I always love collecting fresh eggs from the hen house, particularly once Mavis is laying- her blue eggs contrast nicely with the paler ones. We've more than we need now so I will start selling them at the gate again soon. This usually pays for the feed and we have a loyal circle of egg-buyers who enjoy the chicken's names being written on the egg so they know who to thank! I have to master my fear of spiders every time I go in the hen house. There is a copious quantity of webs growing there...









6 comments:

  1. I did enjoy the videos.. heard the cuckoo too.
    I'd love to have chickens in the garden, but if the pheasants are anything to go by, not much of a garden left!
    Ren looks quite a character!

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    1. You wouldn't have any flowers left Jessica- that's why all mine are in pots in a heavily secured hen-proof patio!

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  2. Magical indeed! I really enjoyed that CT! It is always fun to peek into other people's gardens and yours seemed so tranquil even with all the Teddy (just gorgeous) and hen activity. Seeing the hens scratching around reminded me so much of my grandmother's garden. The eggs looked really pretty, you've made me fancy a nice soft boiled egg now!

    The Blackbird accompaniment was lovely too. Out of all the bird song the Blackbird's is still my favourite. When I watched the videos first, last night, I'm ashamed to say I didn't notice the Cuckoo so when I saw Rusty Duck's comment I watched again and heard it...what a treat!

    May I ask what make the suet/fat balls are. The ones I have been putting out are not very popular and seem as hard as concrete (cricket balls come to mind!) of course it may be that the shop were selling old stock.

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    1. I get them from Scats SB, they have "Jaf Products" written on them. Our birds will eat them if there are no coconut halves on offer!

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  3. It's lovely to hear the bird song and it's great that Teddy and the chickens are so relaxed around each other. I let my girls out of their run, too, this weekend, but I'm afraid mine are lured back in with shaking a pot of favourite sunflower seeds. I must try a call for them.

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    1. We have Rennie to thank for Ted's good behaviour around the hens. When he was a pup she spent several days training him. This generally involved pecking his nose and chasing him if he showed less than reverential respect. It didn't take him long to learn his place! Re the call if you shake some food and call them at the same time over and over for a few days they'll soon learn to come to the call then you can drop the food aspect, or give them a handful as a reward when they've come running. Let me know how you get on!

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Thank you for leaving a comment. I always enjoy reading them and will try my best to reply to every one. CT x