Thursday, 23 February 2012

Confined to Barracks and 'No Food' Update

A little bit of background. We've kept chickens for a few years now; we got the first lot (Rita, Mavis and Deirdre) in 2006, but had to rehome them when we went travelling in January 2008. When we came back from our seven months away we lived in a rental house for six months, so couldn't keep more chooks, but as soon as we bought our next house in 2009 it was back to chicken-keeping with Audrey, Gayle and Sarah-Luv. Unfortunately, Audrey turned out to be Alf and so had to go back to whence s/he came and Sarah-Luv dropped dead in the run one day, quite unexpectedly. So we were left with single solitary Gayle. Since we knew we would be moving again fairly soon, we didn't want to get any more chooks til after we were settled in our new place, so Gayle remained an only-chicken for a while. Then we moved down to Somerset and bought her two new playmates - Fizz and Betty.

Gayle is the white chook on the left, with Fizz being the red/brown one and Betty the black/grey one.

While the house was being renovated and we lived in a rental property round the corner, the three chooks lived in their Omlet Eglu happily in the garden as we couldn't let them free range when the major building work was going on. We also discovered that we couldn't trust them not to make a bid to escape from the confines of the garden once the major work was done but the builders were still on site; one day there was a knock on the door of our rental house - our neighbours from the 'new' house had popped round to tell us that the chickens were wandering merrily in the road outside the house (luckily it's not a busy road), oblivious to all attempts to herd them back to safety.

Then the time came for us to finally move into the 'new' house which meant we were there all the time to keep an eye on the chooks and ward off any bids for freedom. The three girls were given free run of the entire garden (but locked away safely in their Eglu at night), and very happy they were too. However, we weren't quite so chuffed at the amount of poo they felt the need to deposit all over our lovely new patio.

So, last weekend we took some action. We moved the Eglu from it's spot behind the espalier apple tree at the back/middle of the garden (which you can just about see behind a pile of abandoned old fence panels) and, with a little help from DC (who brought his CD player...) and with some netting from Omlet, hubby built them a lovely run by the woodshed and confined them to barracks. Now we are all happy - the chooks have plenty of room to roam, and plenty of earth to scratch around in, we have a poo-free patio and, due to the nature of the netting, the run is nicely disguised behind the apple trees. Can you see it?! Please excuse the mess in the rest of the garden - an awful lot of wood/old fence panels are awaiting the saw so they can become kindling/firewood to keep us toasty
Update on 'no food week'; I stumbled at a chocolate-covered hurdle on Tuesday. I was at the Mall in Bristol with my Mum and saw these on offer.My intention in buying them was that we would eat some when we stopped for coffee which would have meant they didn't count since they would come under the heading of 'food bought to be consumed while out and about'. However, when we stopped for coffee we bought cake so the Splats didn't get eaten and instead came home with us. In order to make up for my lapse, 'no food week' has been extended by a day to end on Saturday evening instead of Friday evening. There is even talk of seeing if we can get to Monday, thus making ten days without buying any food (except fresh fruit.) Also, it doesn't count, does it, if someone else (ie my mum) buys a cake for us?!?


  1. Fantastic names!! Is that a partially walled garden? A walled garden is on my wish-list.

  2. Yes, it is partly walled - all across the back. The area where our house is built used to be the kitchen garden for the manor house (back in the day), and the wall is a reminder of that time. We can make out some sort of marking along the wall extending from the woodshed and think that perhaps there used to be one of those fantastic wooden 'greenhouses' there. If only it was still standing.


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