We finally hauled ourselves after the long hot summer into the Farm House to start renovations. Somehow a trillion excuses manifested to keep us from mustering up the courage to tackle opening up this lovely property and get some order into the rooms. With no rear access to the house, the kitchen off the bedroom… Continue reading Letting in the light
Yesterday was quite a day for the geese. In the morning I bought the usual lettace and tomatoes, but no geese. Called them. Tried to get excitement in my tone. Nothing. Then saw they were all quietly standing near the fence. Very odd. Entered the pen cautiously and walked over to the little goosie gang.… Continue reading Goose not on the loose
The heat has broken. Thank goodness! After weeks of drooping and lethargy, all the girls and Mr Chicken were out enjoying the cool and airing hot feathers in the breeze. Lots a lovely fluffy bottoms and bloomers on show and Mr Chicken trying to look important. As usual failing hopelessly. Everyone ignores him. But he… Continue reading Bright and breezy or maybe a little windy!
Pecan and Cashew are getting all feathered up. And the tufts on their heads look just like daddies!At that dirty grey stage. Ugly ducklings who will turn into beautiful swans..no I mean stroppy, demanding, clumsy, geese. Now we will have five rubbery footed guys yelling at us instead of just three.
Very poorly. Our little six month old Cou Nou or naked neck from Transylvania, cannot breath. A few days ago I noticed her gasping for breath, her little velvety skinned neck stretched skyward to grasp air.We have a dog kennel in our kitchen for emergency patients and Myrtle settled in for a few days of… Continue reading This is Myrtle. I know how she feels.
I am absolutely run off my feet at the moment with trying to decorate, unpack boxes holding our life stuff and managing our abundance of babies at the moment…kittens, ducklings and goslings. I am also downsizing my accountancy work, meaning just six months and it’s over for good. No more deadlines. No more burning the… Continue reading Bedtime
Last week excitement peaked when two little goslings hatched. As of today these guys are growing both in size and in their demands for lettuce. Spoilt to be honest with mum, dad and auntie Bumble trailing around them continuously. But they are sweet and we do believe some little tufts are starting to show on… Continue reading Little ones
Not just one little goslings hatched today, but a couple of hours later, another! After feeling immensely proud of Barley and Bonnie this morning, to have two little cuties….over the moon and back. Poor Bonnie suffering from lack of sleep. Having guarded all last night and today, he was starting to drift off. Get some… Continue reading And then there were two
Living here in France throws up two almost daily situations in the ever increasing heat and passing weeks into summer. One is renovating. The other is wildlife. We are in a crazy few months of being out all hours trying to make an impact on the to-do list. With a few properties on the go… Continue reading Brushes and baby birds
The grass has grown but we are only mowing thin access strips to protect the butterflies, moths, and the million other little bug heads that live here. Today I saw so many different species, we made a pact, husband and me, to leave a third of our field to grow savage each year. The farmers… Continue reading Coropisnita – scary bug
Barley has finally decided she will brood. Could there be a tiny slither of hope that one of those large grubby eggs will hatch a mini version of a happy-go-lucky Barley crossed with an aloof tufted headed Bonnie ( Dad)? In three weeks we will know. Barley chose a secret spot near the chicken forest… Continue reading Your place or mine?
Freezing, links, recipe and what to do with eggshells: I see this question a lot on the internet forums. Our lovely girls are laying eggs as if there is a local competition going on…which coop can egg it the best this week – wins meal worm treats! Well my girls get treats regardless but our… Continue reading Can I freeze eggs?
This week I had a delicate matter to resolve. Below we have an innocent looking tea-towel. An Irish linen one. Great at drying dishes and quite an old one. I think I may have even bought this from Harrods in Knightsbridge, London. Every January the sales are often with 80% discounts. The China department is… Continue reading The evidence is clear
Simply my lovely Tolouse goose Barley lays her eggs daily, carefully covering them with straw and twigs in an attempt to be a careful mumma goose. Except she doesn’t brood over them. Bonnie her mate (Sorry we thought he was a girl) doesn’t chastise her either. So I collect them and in return for the… Continue reading From field to plate
My twelve girls do me proud. Fresh eggs daily. I try to collect the eggs every day around mid afternoon. This gives latelayers time to lay and not miss out on the lunchtime treats. In the morning it’s chaotic. Everyone is either laying, thinking about laying and hovering round the laying hens or all trying… Continue reading All about eggs
My good intentions this week to update progress on the barn renovations fell fowl. Pun intended. A couple of weeks ago our electrician invited us to his home for drinks. An ice breaker so to speak. Accepted. Lots of fun and resulted in an invitation to join his wife’s sewing circle in a small village… Continue reading Heff the duck
We had a happy hour digging for worms today. Everyone got stuck in helping to scratch up the earth as I dug. I know it seems harsh on the worms but the girls will find them eventually and it’s good to have some bonding time. Collette is looking very fed up. The only juicy worm… Continue reading Worms
It took me 10 minutes to cook scrambled eggs, chop up some leeks and add some sunflower seeds. The girls scoffed the lot in one minute! Really couldn’t you all just take a bit of a breath between pecks!
Sometimes we do slightly zany things in life. Coming to France seemed a little zany at first, but now I am settling and the benefits of being in this wonderful countryside surrounded by cow’s and mountain pines and oaks, well it seems the most sensible of decisions in reality.I have always tried to support charities.… Continue reading Funky Chicken Rescue
I really thought Barley had a false alarm the day before yesterday. Nest building all morning but no egg. Barley had found a quiet spot in the goose pen and had been trying to arrange the few bits of straw and dried grass there. Her nest efforts were a disappointment with such megre materials, so… Continue reading Poop an feathers: We have goose eggs!!
Today Barley built a nest. The geese have been extremely territorial recently and grumpy. Bonnie and Bumble have been hissing at every one and anything, including wellies, buckets, egg baskets, grain bags. But quiet Barley has been making a little spot to maybe lay her first egg? The geese are a year old now and… Continue reading Nest building
Our mountains to the South send strong, almost hurricane proportion winds across Limousin. Farm roofs take off, trees are uprooted and last year our garage collapsed. Today was no exception and the ominous drone above our barn made me uneasy. Wandering down to the garden for my daily coop clean and tussle with the hormonal… Continue reading At home and hurt
Snow finally arrived. The geese love it. Living inside your own goose down duvet makes you cuddly and ready for a big goosie hug! Bonnie doesn’t mind a bit. Orange feet go a little pinker in the snow but the girls seem oblivious. In fact it seems they tried to footprint every snowflake in sight!… Continue reading Snow geece
Blogging fills the planet with information. Much of it fills us with amazement, awe and humour. Some fills us with constination and feeds our curiosity. Some is downright misinformed and even dangerous and misguided. Heading towards my first anniversary as a Chicken Mumma, I have devoured both blogs and books to learn about my feathered… Continue reading Poop and feathers: The Chicken Whisperer
Have you ever had a feeling of overwhelming guilt and heartache when you realise you have unintentionally harmed someone or something in the process of trying to do a good deed? Today my heart is heavy and I feel I should do penance. I am not religious but I hope there is a little country… Continue reading House mouse – guilty feelings
In these cold and wet wintry days, there is nothing better than taking some time out from muddy chores and wet wellies, to catch up on reading. In a couple of months we sign for our farmhouse and begin a huge planning session, working out where the new chicken coop and runs will be and… Continue reading Poop and Feathers: Books about chooks
Who would have thought there could be so much fighting over a small rubber tub of water? Everyday clean water for geese to waterproof feathers and clean muddy feet. Geese relish a good splash about. Orange pond for paddling and a temporary small tub for floating in. Plenty of time to share? No. Bonnie hogs… Continue reading Feathers and Poop: Territorial
My first Christmas in France and we finally got our tiny little tree up. Having only just finished the bedroom in the barn, the tree is perched on top of my yellow chest of drawers as the floor is still full of boxes to be unpacked. But it’s full of Christmas bling, bells and flashing… Continue reading Bon Noel from France
There is a little mouse in the house. He lives near our log burner – sensible guy – and although we shouldn’t, we leave him French bread and sometimes cheese. Once the barn is finished, he will have to move his little home to the hay barn at the back, but for now we indulge… Continue reading House Mouse
I have been a little too quiet on this blog. Life’s ups and downs as they are. But today in December was wonderfully windy, autumnal and the bright golden leaves looked like the sun had been scattered to the ground ready to swept up for a winter slumber. The chickens were out – the coop can get… Continue reading All change – French property plans
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… Continue reading Our little helpers
Geese have personalities. Strong personalities. Returning from England to three what seemed very similar geese, in just two months, we have “trois enfant terrible”. The three seem very content with us and each other, a Trois Mousquetaires, where one goes the other follow. The expectation of a noisy haggle hasn’t materialized, instead a constant chirrup… Continue reading All for one and one for all.
Our resident moles have gorged on every meadow worm we had. In vain our chickens scratch and dig and keep their little beady eyes peeled. But no, not a wiggle in site. Unhappy chooks. So today I resolved. A bit like vegetarian meat substitute, a search in the pantry turned up spaghetti. Perfect. Long, wiggly… Continue reading Worms
They say two’s company and three’s a crowd. Well when it comes to water and a miniscule tray to dunk your hot webbed feet into…even two is bothersome. In this case sharing is most definitely restricted. It’s not a pool, it’s a large drinking bowl. Useless. So feeling guilty, we scoured locally, dismissing children’s pools… Continue reading Pool side
Smart little Plumb escaped from the chicken pen-again! An escapee on a mission and no amount of meal worms would entice her back. Two owners clucked and waved worms and occasionally were within fingers reach of that naughty chickens tail feathers, but she knew and smugly wiggled her way further into our overgrown forest patch.… Continue reading Chicken day
Arriving back has been a roller coaster of catch-up. Mowing waist high grass, bonding with three young geese and spending time with the chickens. On top of this our barn is screaming to be worked on..we are very behind since time spent away but Tony has pulled out the stops and bedroom is livable. It… Continue reading Rubber shoes
Judi is going home but before she even tries to pack her bag, I want breakfast. Yes breakfast has to be priority because I am lazy and by 9.30am I will be snoozing again. So I howl loudly and won’t stop till I get attention. That can be exhausting so she had better hurry up!… Continue reading Feed me
I often refer to Tony in my posts. He is my rock, soul mate, breakfast and tea maker, solid sharer of life’s stresses and calming problem solver in a crisis. I haven’t met anyone who works as hard as he does nor with such enthusiasm. I am more tetchy and vulnerable to doubt. Hard labour… Continue reading Team soul mate – notes and plans
Well one week and counting. I can’t wait. My girls are all growed up and shortly to have swimming lessons. As you can hear Tony hasn’t got the names yet…goosies will do for a while but if one needs to go to the naughty corner…I need to wag my finger at the right goose! Typically… Continue reading All feathered up
I am stuck in Barts hospital in London. Mum got dehydrated so drip in place..yes I have a 4 hour wait. I was due to meet a friend to celebrate diagnosis of her medical condition. A landmark after many years of frustration. I spotted hedggie on my arrival. Badly sewn eye. As soon as mum… Continue reading Happy hedgehog
Only a few weeks and the three girls are growing daily. Big feet, feathers and a huge grassy appetite with ever louder honking, makes me think that somehow our garden won’t be quiet anymore. The chickens just ruffle feathers and ignore them, but the girls seem very curious about the chickens and often poke heads… Continue reading Growing geese
A little behind with goose update. But here is arrival. Already in just a couple of weeks feathers are growing, Tony is being honk, honked at whenever he dissapears from view and best of all my grass is getting trimmed. These girls will grow to 3 feet tall and being a heavy breed of goose… Continue reading Finally arrived
Alison is responsible for me getting chickens. It’s all her fault. She has two chickens. Her chicken comments made me laugh. The germ was caught. When I started blogging I was very nervous. I still am and trying to find my voice and subject matter is an ongoing journey. Alison was too and she commented… Continue reading Through Rose Tinted Glasses
Shows my age…Genesis. And like the great band who pioneered sound and modern rock music, today at our little French homestead we had our pioneering moment…goslings. A whole new adventure after the big chicken learning curve. We were expecting older geese. Tony sent me a message…”They are green!”. Yep tiny bundles and as I am… Continue reading And then there were three
Our garden had been planned to some extent…an outdoor kitchen, a herb garden, a pergola, a grassy space to lie down upon and watch the clouds scud by. The old over grown bramble patch been reclaimed by pasture and with mowing and tree pruning, the structure of the garden was on its way. But. You… Continue reading The feathered dozen
The eggs keep coming. My husband has sent panicked emails asking me what to do as the girls are laying so well. Many forums are airing concerns about the opposite…chickens won’t lay. But the girls are healthy so it’s normal and mother nature knows best. Hopefully in Autumn the girls will moult feathers, slow down… Continue reading Eggstrordinary
Go to work on an egg… a UK 1970’s maybe advertising strapline before the Brits panicked about cholesterol and stopped eating an egg a day, but then realized how silly that was and it was typically politicians playing games, as usual, with the publics well being. Well I think we need to go to work… Continue reading Go to work on an egg
Chicken platters. Hand cut, diced or chopped. Natural ingredients and I think from the rapid beak pecking, the haute cuisine is being appreciated….even if rather quickly! I will putting up a post soon on chicken food. We have only just begun learning about feedng and I still need to explore the local area for seed… Continue reading Michelin Star dining
I am reading chicken books. Tonnes of them. I am a new mother of 12 and like every new mother I panic about everything…feeding, behaviour, friendships, squabbles, toes and in my case feathers and beaks! I am back and forth to London hospitals this week, so a short post. Tony is being mother hen while… Continue reading Book for a chook
I am following Leigh Tate’ s great blog and just purchased her self published book “5 Acres and a dream- The book” as I am starting a new journey in France when I return. Homestead has a wide conitation of ideals and already we have our list that is priority to us: Simplification of life… Continue reading One acre and a dream