Yearly Archives: 2011

Merry Christmas!

A big change from last Christmas this year! Last year due to the freezing spell the water was frozen and Christmas was pretty much put on hold with bottles of water from neighbours being used to fill plastic duck ponds

The Boys!

Sooooooo, after saying how we were going to cull the cockerels only one boy (the crowing one) made it to his final destination. The cull, as on occasion may happen, went a little wrong. A matter of 10 seconds delay

Today is the day!

That the cockerels are finally culled. I have been putting it off for as long as possible, however the past two days one of the Faverolle boys has taken to 4.30am crowing and even in the heavy coop with little

Run Time & Wimpy Boys

I have started putting together my plans for the new chook run and the spoilt madames are still going to have over 4 sqm space each as well as access into the duck run (and ducks into theirs) at times.

Back Garden Chickens and Other Poultry by John and Cara Harrison

I’m a little bit excited as the book I co-wrote with my father, John, Back Garden Chickens & Other Poultry is released on 01 September 2011. It will be available from Amazon and all good bookshops (as they say) from then.

Adding Up The Cost

Today I realised that adding up the cost of the chickens and ducks to see how much my lovely free range eggs are is a very bad idea. Once you’ve added the housing, feeders, drinkers, medical kit, tonics, feed, bedding

Chicken Keepers Course – Sheffield 17 September 2011

Lets Talk Chicken is a one day conference being held for those thinking of keeping poultry in their back gardens. Held on 17th September 2011 at Westways Primary School in Crookes, Sheffield the course will cover all aspects of urban

Worms and Parasites

Again, due to many questions with the aid of the forums the following information will help anyone with an internal parasite problem (many thanks to Aunt Sally and all the other forum contributors for this information). Worms in chickens are of two general

Red Mite

I’ve been having a few emails through about people who are suffering from the dreaded redmite so thought I would make a little post about how best to get rid of the horrid little bloodsuckers! This was the advice given

Broody Pingu

As I suspected little Pingu has decided it is time she had some babies of her own. Pingu is a lovely little Muscovy-Cayuga cross with the funniest hiss-quack as a result. Another result of her cross is that she is

Cakes & Cats

With all the eggs I have had recently I had a bit of a baking session. At the moment I am getting at least 5 duck eggs a day and an occasional chicken egg too which is far more than two people

Getting Big

The chicks are getting huge now. The three boys have all got very noticeable combs and even tiny little Biscuits (Cream Legbar) is now too big to escape from the garden through holes we didn’t even think to cover up as they

Naughty Girls

I’ve been having a bit of a problem with the three ex-barn girls the past few weeks. Their little house has a secure under-run that in the morning they come down into until letting out time. They have food and

Poor Bee!

It turns out I have a very daft duck indeed. With all the lovely weather the ducks have had two plastic paddling pools, their mini tyre pond and drinker on the go. In order to fit them in the run

Predators & Guard Chickens!

Last week we had an unexpected visitor to the garden. No, this time it wasn’t Mr Fox but instead a predator of the two legged variety… At about 5:45 the chickens started making an almighty noise in their underrun and
Alice Walker Author

The Chicken Chronicles by Alice Walker

I’m reading the most amazing book, The Chicken Chronicles by Alice Walker. She is best known for her Pulitzer Prize winning book, The Color Purple which was also made into a wonderful film. This book, The Chicken Chronicles, is not

Helping in the Garden

I finally got round to planting out and sorting one of the deep beds this week. As always digging over is a team sport and on more than one occasion the chickens nearly lost their heads! As well as the

Naughty Drakes

Last year I had a terrible accident when one of my drakes accidentally drowned one of the young females, Doo, during mating. It is an unfortunately common problem especially in the Spring and with younger birds. It would seem that little Doobie

Chickadee Time

Last year I decided no more hatching. Nope. Not going to do it. So I got rid of my pure breed hens and left with the ducks and three ageing ex-barn hens decided at least I would be fairly safe

Mating Season & Broody Time

In the garden it is obvious that the spring sunshine has kicked off the mating season. Bumble has been busily fertilising the duck eggs for me and Erin is already starting to be a little broody, refusing to leave the

Spring Clean

Over the weekend I decided it was time to clean out the run and get it ready for the summer. In order to preserve some vegetables the ducks will be run confined from now on for most of the day.

Moulting Hens & Mucky Drakes

Two of my lovely ex-barn girls have gone into moult leaving the garden and hen house covered in feathers and their bums a rather bare affair. Thankfully I don’t seem to be having any pecking problems which can often happen

Eggs Again!

After a winter with only one duck and chicken laying throughout, and even then only every few days, I was nearly at the point of buying eggs when today I went out and found that two more of last years