Chick, chick, chick, chick, chicken ......

Lay a little egg for me ........ please!

W and M got up really early this morning (most unusual for a school day!)  They had decided the night before that they wanted scrambled egg for breakfast and I had told them (like the helpful,supportive mother I am) that that was fine as long as they made it themselves!!

They got up and dressed quickly, forwent their page of Harry Potter I usually read in the morning, and went out to find some eggs. 

This is one of advantages/disadvantages of having free range hens, sometimes you have to search for your eggs!  W used to love doing this when he was little and only at school for the morning.  He would get home and immediately go off down the garden to find his lunch ~ W loves eggs!

This morning it was easy, we found some eggs on the rabbit hutch just outside the back door.

All ready.

They each made their own scrambled egg and along with a glass of milk straight from the cows, they were ready for their day ~ what a healthy start!

Thank you chicken!

Chicken looking in through the front door.
We have had chicken since we were in the UK, but then we only had six in a run in the back garden (well .......... there was a time when we had a few lot more, but that is a story for another day!)  

I don't know exactly how many chicken we have now ........ we have a chicken run at the bottom of the garden and about 12 chicken sleep there every night, but we also have a cock and 3 or 4 hens who live in the barn and another 12 or more live in and around the garden (they are all chicken that were hatched naturally so are semi-wild).

We find them in the strangest places!

These chicken roost every night outside H's bedroom window!

They have been doing it since they were very small.

While it is lovely that our birds can roam freely, it does lead to problems finding where they are laying and at this time of the year we do have to be careful they don't roam into our neighbours' vegetable gardens (our ours come to that!) 

Oh no ~ that's my potager!!  Get out chucks!!
There must be some more in there somewhere.
This is the big chief of the chicken house.

We may end up fencing the bottom half of the garden or alternatively make some movable houses like this one ....... though we started this a year ago and it's still unfinished even after Papi gave us a hand (thank you Daddy).

Foxes and pine-martins are a problem too (we lost all our geese a few weeks ago) so any house has to be very secure.

H closing the hen house at the bottom of the garden.

Very bizarrely last weekend H and C offered to clean out the hen house!!!  It's practically unheard of for them do 'offer' to do anything .......... then we remembered that H had just received a new computer game that they were both very keen to play  (thank you Uncle Boo Boo and Auntie Z) and our rules are that you only get computer time if you have helped!!  Needless to say we jumped at their offer and the chicken are now happily ensconced in their new cosy home.

M inspecting the work.
W thinks it's fab-u-lous!
They didn't wait long to try the new nesting box.

There were six this morning.

What's Purple Monkey doing in there?

 This year we have several chicken sitting on nests around the garden and in the barn....

This one under the fig tree at the front of the house.
This one round the back.

 .....  we have also tried incubating some eggs too ~ we realised that W had never seen chicks hatching, he was too young to remember the last time we did it.

We haven't been very successful this time, so far only one egg has hatched, if no more hatch by tomorrow we will have to start again ~ either the eggs were unfertilised or too old or we need to buy a new incubator (I think it is the incubator!)

This is Tweety

Our next plans (once we have the incubator sorted) is to find a large space to fence off to hatch and raise some chicken for eating.  We have never eaten any of our chicken, but we eat a lot of chicken meat and it is expensive so if we can "grow our own" it does make sense.  Then all I will have to do is learn how to pluck a bird......... :o(


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