All Posts · Animal tales · Chickens · Geese

Our little helpers

If there is one thing, or should I say 15 things that have kept me going this year, through all the stress and tiring train journeys from home to London so many times, then it’s my feathered friends.

Whatever priorities in life I have, for the chickens and geese, they matter not at all. What matters are a refilled pond because us geese have made it muddy. Mole hills have to investigated and beaks cleaned; and in the excitement we poop in our water. In fact we poop everywhere! We need watermelon, lettace and rubber shoes to chew. We do not care about your stress. Geese have needs.

The chickens demand their favorite tomato and kale treats, being let out of the coop to run amock in the garden and steal goose grain. It’s so much nicer stealing some one else’s food even if it’s the same. Straw in the goose pen must be thrown about and my wildflower bed scratched up for worms. (Luckily the flowers are over now).

I had barely arrived back, when 12 chickens and 3 geese were creating a noisy din. I tried to sit with a cup of tea and cake for five paltry minutes but the cake was grabbed and Apple and Poppy decided they liked tea too. Thanks guys…I was enjoying that!

I have failed miserably to keep on top of blogging. Everyone else is posting away furiously day by day, but I just couldn’t muster more than a brief post a few weeks ago enroute through Paris…again.

My life has changed radically over this last month. We have at last funding for some dream plans which will mean we can finish our barn and set up work spaces in our local town. More of that once I have had time to breath.

I only managed to return home for a short while in September. The chooks and geese appeared pleased to see me. Well I believe they were by the general flapping, perch hopping and honking from Bumble, Barley and Bonnie.

Once the fifteen were fed and watered I wanted to spend some time re-bonding. A few quality hours in the garden needed. The chickens need grit to help digest their food as they have no teeth. We have almost 9 eggs a day, so egg shells mount up. Full of lovely calcium, they can be crushed and fed back to the chickens and the geese.

Apple supervised to ensure quality control. Although in her excitement to sit on my bucket, we had one mishap! Naughty chicken.

The shells do not need to be boiled first. We simply leave in a bucket for a few days to dry, then crush finely and add to their grain or in a separate container to peck at as they want.

Washing a few cloths next. Collette adores water. Any excuse to splash about. Now what is that in this bucket…food?

But hang on, who is this with a muddy beak. Bumble don’t you dare! You’d think we were running a spa.

Looks like Bonnie has got in first. I am not sure this is the kind of help I wanted.

The excitement of having a few spoilt days with lots of treats before I left again, did me a world of good too. When you have a garden full of busy poultry being chased by territorial geese it’s like a three year olds party. Chaos. But funny and distracting. Bonnie absolutely hates chickens on her patch. With neck outstretched she hisses and heads off at speed like a torpedo locked onto it’s target. The chickens deftly hop aside everytime. Silly goose. Far too clumsy and far too fat with those silly rubber feet.

It takes an hour to get everyone back in. It’s chicken humour to defy capture. My goodness don’t they manoeuvre quick! Plumb has a second sense to know what way my arms are going to grab her and Eloise just runs off into the forest patch squarking. These broody hens are crazy. Bad enough getting them out of their egg box in the first place but once out they run around as if on helium shots…all puffed up and hormonal. She will be back later.

So back to the coop. Geese do not help. Why is it that when the last chicken is in, you find you have geese in the coop too and they won’t come out? Now we have to chase them about.

Geese have a mysterious personal space. When your about to feed them, they are stamping all over your feet or tugging on your jumper sleeves or physically bumping into you to get food. But try and grab a goose and they honk and hiss. Your in my personal space! Your within three inches of my feathers! Such tantrums. It’s like the world’s about to end.

A lot of flapping arms and scolding and geese are out.

Bedtime and peace. Rake up poop. Tidy straw in goose pen. Give chooks a quick meal worm treat and make sure Eloise is back in her egg box.

And now I am back in London again for the final push to pull the plug on England. It’s taken three years but worth it. I miss the hustle bustle of countryside life and even the poop scooping (it’s great for the garden).

I will try and post again soon. Lots of adventures happening, so please stay with me.

20 thoughts on “Our little helpers

    1. Awe. That’s sad. You must get another or even two more. You must give your girl a lot of extra TLC. I am sending mine all off to our other new piece of land. It’s bigger and there I can retire all my chickens as more grass to scratch up for worms and place to play hide and seek. I definitely have a chicken obsession coming on. Yes life is going to be good if I don’t procrastinate. Very hectic year ahead but worth it. Just wish it was all starting in Spring as not looking forward to our chilly barn over the coming months. We have got the stove in but no windows yet..so that’s a bit pointless!

      1. She is still alive at the moment so not sure what is happening. Sounds like your chickens are going to be very happy and yes easy to become a chicken addict. Hope you find some way of keeping warm through the winter.

      2. Tell me about it! Something clicked and I just want to get more, hence buying some extra land so they have more room. I saw a lovely programme this week about an American guy who spent 18 months with wild turkeys. It was very emotional and I had a bit of a sniffle by the end. Silly really but they are such smart animals and quite complex. Still in UK. I must catch up on what everyone is doing. Feel very out if the picture.

      3. We all have to step back at times I think. Not a bad thing to have a break. Some good news my hen is getting better, having looked at deaths door for a good few days she is now getting back to normal and looking loads better. Im wondering if she was just weakened by the mollting season unless she had a bit of a virus that is just clearing on its own.

  1. It’s no bad thing to have a bit of a pause sometimes even if just to take the pressure off. I too have had to slow down the blogging for a couple of months. Whilst I truly love it, there are also times when it’s simply not possible. X

    1. So true. I really do hate doing short little posts. But sometimes that’s all that’s needed. I think this winter I will be doing a revamp to make the blog a bit more useful and inciteful. I am hoping to push on this week with packing up mums house so next week free to visit London. I might not be back for some time given our property plans in France.

      1. Gosh, well I hope that packing up the house is ok and not too sad for you. How happy she must have been knowing that you’d found happiness in France. I do think that as parents, that’s all we really want isn’t it, for our children to be happy and safe. God bless. Xx

      2. Unfortunately my mum and I did not get on too well. She really didn’t have anything to say ‘re France or any other place I lived. Sad but my Dad would have loved it. I am enjoying the move as Dad would have been excited about our plans. He died back in 2009. Miss him loads.

      3. Yes I bet you miss him … I’m sorry you didn’t get on so well with your mum. You know the saying, “You can choose your friends, but not your family …” and I think that’s often the case. Losing a parent is really, really tough. I’m so glad that you have a good, solid life to fall back on with people you love and who love you. To say nothing of your clucking and honking friends! Xx

      4. Just got internet again..hence delayed replies. Yes do miss him BUT as of today he is coming to UK to finish moving our stuff and we can go home together to start our new life! Excited, anxious, overwhelmed all at the same time. Can’t wait to see the geese even if Bumble gets confused and hisses at me when I bring out pumpkin. Must be because it’s yellow. Silly goose!

  2. You have brightened my morning with the tales of your feathered friends! Hope things finally calm down for you. Sounds exciting -your new project. Looking forward to reading your news!
    Keep well!

    1. I am excited! Just hope my geese will enjoy a bit of regular car travel. Bumble was very hissy this week when introduced to pumpkin. She took a while to realize you can eat it and it’s not a yellow predator!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.