Myrtle was the first chicken I lost. I felt helpless as the vet couldn’t diagnose. She couldn’t breathe and I read every book I could, but everything led to the same diagnosis, which I now know is not always right. It was supposed to signify gape worm, but I honestly now believe it was sadly… Continue reading Little Souls
Sometimes you get a commission that’s a little extra special and such a joy to work on. In this case a lovely bedcover for a two year old to be an heirloom piece. The little girl has three hens, one white feathered and two with black and copper. Her mum says she’s mad about them… Continue reading Three French Hens
Back a few months ago, Mollie became broody, she often does, but this time I decided to leave her with a few eggs, including three duck eggs from our Indian Runners and Pekins. The ducks had been vigilantly sitting for a month, but the eggs went bad and after I checked by candling, shining a… Continue reading I am a hen
Autumn has arrived here in France, the air is still humid and heavy rains fall. Its cow country snd pasture appears never to cease growing here, but after September it slows, the leaves start to turn their autumnal colours and we have a couple if beautiful months of bedding down for winter. I have a… Continue reading Bird October
During molting season, just finishing now, the poultry garden is full of feathers, sometimes like a soft snow fall over night. Meticulously I gather them, long, strong flight feathers and tail feathers from the geese, pure white ones from the pekin ducks and pretty patterned, spotty ones from Bovril, our guinea. The gingers, coffee, clotted… Continue reading Feathered friends
Ronnie rooster…gentle, caring, last to bed and liked by all the hens. Since Pipi passed, Bovril our guinea has befriended Ronnie and since Ronnie has got more wobbly on his feet, won’t go to bed till his sideways crowing friend has gone in the coop. We adopted Ronnie a few years back. He was being… Continue reading Rooster Booster
Owning over fifty birds, you get eggs, lots of them and this year I wanted to try for babies now that we have a more organized set-up. The cous-nous flock with Rudi needed a few additions and I so wanted more Pekin ducks. Poor Heff, our big six year old has arthritis badly and lost… Continue reading The babies arrived
As you know I started illustrating last year and its been a fun year creating characters like Pipi Pintade and Naughty Goose. I always loved children’s books,classics like Winnie The Pooh, Peter Pan, The Wizard Of Oz, Dragon In Danger, The Mouse and his Child to name a few,and pop-up books. The French have bookshops… Continue reading Commission Children’s Book
As you know I am mad about my feathered gang, they supply endless joy, inspiration and muddy boots! After a tentative year setting up my new business, illustrating and designing fabrics and mug designs, I was asked if I made greetings cards? Well why not I thought. Certainly affordable if you love many designs and… Continue reading Pastoral Poultry Prints
Every morning is a surprise here…some are misty, the coops slowly becoming visable as the sun rises and evaporates the damp air; others are cold, chilled with a tough layer of frost, buckets of water frozen solid and perfect to create ice scultures, the garden filling with little ice discs or the sound of torrential… Continue reading Winter wordless
A few years ago now, pottering about the old chicken coop, there was a strange sight…a sort of chicken shaped bird but with a long red neck, featherless and topped by a head with a huge beak and a topnot of ginger like hair! The bird was trying to enter our coop, excited by the… Continue reading New Cous Nous
I haven’t posted for a while and wanted to catch up with a few updates. It’s a longish post but bare with me…I promise over the next few weeks they will be shorter and very varied. A lot has been going on and I have exciting things happening. But it had to start somewhere….. In… Continue reading Pipi found me
As you probably know by now, I am crazy about poultry. Not only do these guys bring me daily joy and a sense of worth, but they have been the catalyst in finally finding my new vocation in life, illustrating and story writing. They are the source of my inspiration, the bedrock of my day… Continue reading Sharing support
I have hurt my back again. Mowers with pull cords are absolutely dangerous! I have a lot of grass and land weeds to contend with and petrol mowers are a necessity. But they do not make them suitable for women. I am not a feminist but I do expect manufacturers to know our upper body… Continue reading Factory House to Apple Puree
A recent post on Facebook perches prompted me to do a quick post on my perches. . There are a lot of different types and views on perches and after keeping chickens now for three years, I realized the old fashioned idea of round perches, like a thick broom handle, were wrong. The girls suffer… Continue reading Please perch
Yes they are spoilt. We hate the commercial dog foods. Too strong, too much protein, too much cost and no wonder dogs end up with health problems and eating special dietary food that happens to be supplied by vets. My mother-in-law fed her dogs on bread soaked in meat juices, chicken legs and scraps. They… Continue reading Food for fur and feathered friends
I have been absolutely useless in posting recently but I do have a few genuine excuses. The weather in France has been one long spring of rain, and although it is exactly what creates this beautiful scenery, meadows and cow pasture, it’s almost June for goodness sake and should at least allow me to remove… Continue reading Geese in the grass
Last year I was given a box of baby guineafowl. They were supposed to be banthams. Billy Bantham my adopted, feisty cockerel needed girls. He had adopted the role of deputy to Ronnie roosters flock of Rhode Island hens as Ronnie had an amputated toe and found rounding up the girls at sunset difficult. But… Continue reading Pipi Pintade
I love my Cou-nous naked neck chickens. Sadly of my original six, only Doobie, Sweetie and Ruby remain but are a source of daily happiness. We have had a few moments of crisis with them too…Ruby suffered from respiratory issues and upto a year ago was constantly blue looking. Doobie had a nasty prolapse due… Continue reading Egg song
The new perches gave proved a huge success. For over a year I have been dealing with a temporary set up while we built the coop. Thats not completed yet but in a moment of clarity I realized that what we were probably going to build wasnt going to be practical. The traditional perches have… Continue reading Perch perfect
Everyone was full of beans yesterday…not literally but the extra ration of meal worms in the meal worm hunt had resulted in a group of feisty ducks and chickens. Mr Chicken led the hunt and as per usual showed off for the benefit of the camera and the girls. Now for clarity these girls are… Continue reading Cooped up
Freezing today but luckily Penquin my Pekin duck had laid an egg. It was still warm and I held it in my pocket between feeding all the feathery family. My girls are now three years old and egg laying is sporadic. With the winter chill all the hens have slowed and from twenty hens I… Continue reading Boys will be boys
As a child my walk to school took me through a rambling footpath between mighty oaks and horse chestnuts. The latter supplied conkers that resulted in many bruised fingers from conker fights. Now this childhood right of passage has been banned. Shame, but it was actually rather dangerous. But also rolling around in leaves could… Continue reading Fallen leaves
Couldn’t write this yesterday as too upset. We came home around 6pm. I start putting everyone to bed but Penquin our Pekin duck has a torn wing from Heff being too amorous. Her white feathers were stained pink and the broken feather needed trimming out. It was bleeding profusely. So fetching medical kit we proceeded… Continue reading Accidents
Every year the feathered gang have a molt but sometimes its harsher. The damaged and worn previous year feathers are renewed and ready for winter. Sometimes the molt is so harsh, as is the case often with chickens, the regrowth resources so much calcium, any lacking it their diet is taken up from their bones,… Continue reading Feather memories
A year ago we acquired a lonely Cou-nou cockerel. One of three wandering henless around our barn, bachelor cool and social, Mr Chicken made a beeline for our coop every day to trill at the girls and strut his stuff. The other two loitered by our garden waiting for treats or casually entering our kitchen… Continue reading There’s a Cou-nou in the compost
Mr Chicken is sure this is a great nest for eggs. Doobie likes Mr Chicken, so it’s got to be a good spot. Ah chicken flirtations are so eggciting!
There once was a little red tomato Inside sat a little mealy worm When the sun shone, mealy worm felt happy Mealy worm would wiggle and squirm. Then came along a busy little chicken She would cluck, cluck, cluck all day She liked to peck at seeds and flowers And snooze in her bale of… Continue reading Chicken and mealy worm
Napoleon and the girls just chillin. Trouble is it’s also Heff and Penquins patch. They won’t be happy!
Still get eggcited about our fresh eggs. I mean, look at those whites! And both of us have to take pictures too. These are a mix of Rhode Island eggs and a little grey Limousine egg at top. The latters eggs are smaller, like a large quail egg and white. The Rhodies eggs range from… Continue reading Photo fresh eggs
A misty morning should mean a mellow day ahead? Hardly. Our mellow is unloading two new cast iron stoves, bagging up our flurry of leaves for composting and making a new chicken ladder. The silly cou nous cant jump. These podgy naked neck chickens have no sense of balance and at bedtime literally wail because… Continue reading Little daily musings
Because I finally found my vocation…. Every day this chicken slave trudges through mud to do her egg collecting and cleaning duty. My bleary eyed morning routine at the farmhouse starts with a hot cup of English breakfast tea. Can’t abide that thin whispy Smokey Earl Grey stuff. No has to be robust enough to… Continue reading It’s a poultry thing
I am so behind with blogging I should pay a fine! I have also to catch up on everyone else’s wonderful blog posts and apologise for being so sloth in adding my comments. But tonight I managed to read a few and this prompted me to manage an update. The Anxious Gardener is busy. I… Continue reading Inspired by comments
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!
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
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
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?
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
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
Winter can be a dull time for chickens. It’s wet and unlike the geese, the rain doesn’t bounce off, so within an hour or so everyone is bedraggled. Feet are muddy and until we move to our new home the grass has long gone, scratched away to a barren wasteland and Mr Mole has chomped… Continue reading Poop and feathers: Flock Blocks
I have always found my London slash Essex accent somewhat annoying, but there are times that trying to put into words what pictures do better, means I will have to subject you all to my first video. It’s not perfect but I hope you enjoy my little guided tour of the coop and an intro… Continue reading Poop and Feathers: Chicken Coop Tour
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
We have had a spoiling ourselves time looking for little colourful household goods for our barn and farmhouse. We both inherited heirloom kitchen equipment from our parents – Brown Betty teapots, blue and white stripped milk jugs, Judge enamel pans, wicker baskets, pie dishes and cast iron griddles amongst them. We have a mixture of… Continue reading Chicken Licken day
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
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