perchs-in-shed
Coops & Crafts

Perches in the Shed

There are a few things to do to finish off the shed and one of those is to install perches for all of the girls, and that was completed today. I wanted to take advantage of the height of the shed and give the hens a ‘ladder’ to roost on, as well as making the

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the-hens-at-the-hentastic-foraging-cake-feeder
Product Review

Product Review | Hentastic Foraging Cake Feeder & Foraging Cakes

The girls have been busy recently trying out some new products that Hentastic sent us, and they’ve thoroughly enjoyed it! Hentastic have a new Foraging Cake feeder out in 2018 and the new design is in keeping with all their chicken feeders in a strong, durable orange plastic that looks like it will stand up

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hen-calendar-2018-01
Uncategorized

Happy New Year 2018

Happy New Year! The new calendar was put up today with Orchid being January’s hen, and as we start the new year it’s good to look back on what happened in 2017 – in numbers! In 2017: • We welcomed 46 hens to the flock • Sadly, we said goodbye to 9 • The girls

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christmas-presents-for-the-hens-2017
Uncategorized

Christmas 2017 for the Hens

The girls have had a lovely Christmas this year! The celebrations started on Christmas Eve with a full clean out of their coop and a nice deep layer of fresh eucalyptus bedding in for them to sleep on, and whole bag of woodchip in their run to replace the compacted mud that had built up

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the-greys-1-year-henniversary
Henniversary

The Greys 1 Year Henniversary

Today we celebrated the 1 year henniversary of The Greys – Eve, Ivy and Merry. I picked them up 12 months ago but they went into hiding for a few days as they were a surprise Christmas present for Sarah and were unveiled 4 days later. The group was named after a hen from the

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pip-moulting
Behaviour

Pip’s New Coat

Pip is growing a new coat, but she’s taking rather a long time choosing her attire! Hens moult in the autumn and for the last few weeks Pip has looked a sorry state as her fine covering of feathers have literally fallen out and she’s become a shadow of her former self. One of the

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mary-memory
In Memory

Fly High Mary

Today we lost Mary. She appeared fine yesterday but we found her this morning struggling for breath and clearly in discomfort. Unfortunately we know these signs and the only thing we could do for her was a final act of kindness to take her to the vet to end her suffering. Mary was one of

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lily-clematis-jasmine-looking-at-the-snow
Uncategorized

Too Much Snow

It’s been snowing the last few days and whilst there was excitement when the white stuff arrived, the girls are a bit wary of it now, particularly as it’s a few inches deep and very cold and wet on their feet! When we’ve let the hens out the last couple of days they’ve been a

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hens-in-snow-2017-12-08
Behaviour

What’s All This White Stuff?

The girls woke up to a covering of snow this morning and despite never having seen this before, the hens in the main coop didn’t let it bother them, they ran out into it and started pecking at it! The group in the shed though were a bit more wary of why their green grass

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sapphire-crystal-perching-in-attic
Behaviour

High Roosting

Little Sapphire’s not quite getting it. Every night her 40+ flock mates find their way to the coop and their sleeping places but nature is telling Sapphire to go as high as she can, and the ‘attic’ (the space under the roof of the run) is proving quite attractive for her, and proving difficult for

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hens-exploring-the-shed
Housing

Moving House

The shed’s all set up now – apart from a few finishing touches – and the girls have started to move in! We put down some thick plastic on the floor to help with cleaning, and weighed this down with bricks in each corner to also add a bit more weight to help reduce the

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shed-in-field
Coops & Crafts

The Wheels Work!

There’s still a few things to do to the new coop but it’s almost ready for the girls to move in and today we moved it to the field to get it into position. This was a test for the castors and the method I’d used to attach them the base of the shed and

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shed-base-with-wheels
Coops & Crafts

Shed to Coop | Base

The base of the coop is now complete and is effectively a large trolley that the shed will be attached to. We wanted the coop to be moveable and finally settled on 260mm pneumatic tyre castors to achieve this – two fixed and two swivel. These were bolted to two 150mm x 50mm stretcher boards

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the-roses-day-1
Adopting

Welcome to The Roses

The first full day for the Roses with us today and they’re settling in well. We were greeted with 7 eggs this morning, 3 in the nest boxes and the rest scattered around their area – 3 in the new nest boxes is great for their first day! We gave them a full check over

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the-roses-at-rehoming
Adopting

The Roses Arrive

We brought back our latest group of hens today, The Roses, named in honour of Rose who passed away a few weeks ago. We’d reserved 8 hens but came home with 10 – we took 2 additional hens that were poorly, so will need to think of a couple of more ‘Rose’ names! The girls

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bhwt-rehoming-2017-11
British Hen Welfare Trust Volunteering

British Hen Welfare Trust Re-homing Day 12/11/2017

A very rewarding day today helping at the British Hen Welfare Trust re-homing at Overton. In around 2 hours over 450 hens met their new owners and headed off to a life of sunshine, dustbathing and a spacious environment. These hens made the journey from Yorkshire, and are unusually 90 weeks old – normally ex-commercial

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the-barn-area-for-the-roses
Housing

Ready for the Roses

We have a British Hen Welfare Trust re-homing tomorrow and we’ll be bringing back our next group, The Roses. Rather than deal with makeshift accommodation that we’ve constructed recently for the unplanned groups that have been re-homed we’ve made a dedicated area for the hens in a section of our barn. We have 2 secure

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lily-with-a-chick-stick
Behaviour

Lily’s Chick Stick Chorus

Every hen is unique. They have their own personalities and traits and we’re reminded of this every day. Whether it’s Willow standing stationary watching on whilst every other hen goes mad for strawberries, Rose preferring her own company to that of other hens, or Lily, who has now discovered the world’s greatest treat – a

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larkspur-marigold-thrift-in-car
Health

A Few Sneezes

There have been a few sneezes from the flock recently and with Larkspur seeming the worst we took her to the vet this week to get checked out. She took along Marigold and Thrift too as they’d been off-colour also and could provide the vet with extra sound effects if he needed them. Larkspur was

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the-laurels-6-month-henniversary
Henniversary

The Laurels 6 Month Henniversary

A milestone today as The Laurels reached 6 months with us. These are the group of 12 hens we re-homed in May, named after Laurel, a very special hen who passed away at the end of last year. Whilst we’d like all of the hens we re-home to live a long life, the reality is

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shed-wall-painting
Coops & Crafts

Shed to Coop | Painting the Walls

The shed had an initial coat of paint at the factory but the wood isn’t pressure treated and needs to be painted with a preservative – an ideal excuse to choose a nice colour scheme for the girls new home! For the front, back and sides we chose Cuprinol Natural Stone after being inspired by

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shed-with-ventilation-cut-out
Coops & Crafts

Shed to Coop | Ventilation

The shed conversion to a coop has started! Having considered this for a while, the modifications won’t be as much as I initially thought, but one thing that does need to change is the ventilation that the coop will have, so I’ve removed a section of each side panel to allow good airflow. There’s no

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panels-and-doors
Coops & Crafts

Panels & Doors

I’d already made 4 panels that could be used for a variety of purposes and are currently providing housing for Corncockle, Foxglove and Violet as they recover from a respiratory infection. Time though to make some more, and some door panels as an upgrade to the cable tie ‘hinge’! The design and construction was the

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tulip-eating-cabbage
Nutrition

Apple & Cabbage Treats

The girls are enjoying the autumn harvest and today they dined on apple and cabbage, a nice healthy treat for them and plenty for everyone! We supplement the hens diet with fruit and vegetables that we grow ourselves and despite the cabbage white butterfly invading the crop, there are still a lot of useable cabbages

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