It’s Erect!

It’s Erect!

After weeks of plan changes, windy weather and multiple trips to the DIY store, the chicken enclosure is finally up! And looking rather damn fabulous if I do say so myself!

There’s still a few bits left to do; some wire to put on the door of the enclosure and fixing the coop after the wind blew the roof off, but the main bulk of the construction is done. I’ll do a whole post in the future on how we built it but for now I’m just going to hype up how close we are to getting chickens.

If all goes well we should be off to pick our chickens up next Tuesday!!! I’m so excited now, it’s finally happening, by this time next week there will be chickens in the garden. Whilst the day can be filled with finishing the enclosure, the evening will now be filled with researching chicken breeds. We’ve been told about a few breeds but always open to suggestions, so as first time keepers what would people recommend?

Can’t wait for the chickens now, keep watching for their arrival very soon!!!

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Speckled eggs: On trend for Easter 

Speckled eggs: On trend for Easter 

This Easter, the trendy design that seems to be everywhere is speckled eggs. There are so many sweet treats along the speckled egg theme, from cupcakes to cookies, macaroons, and obviously the original speckled egg product, mini eggs! That’s not to mention all the Easter decorations: wreaths, table centre pieces and even nail art! Speckled eggs are definitely in! 

Egg wreathTable centre piece, Nail polish from Models Own.

Cake recipeMacaroons, Cupcakes and Mini eggs available from Tesco.

As with many of our trends, speckled egg products are something that we’ve taken the idea for from nature. As many birds produce eggs during the Easter period, it’s makes sense that we associate eggs with spring and Easter. The beauty of speckled eggs has not gone unnoticed until now though, they were first made popular by Victorians trying to obtain many specimens for their collections. Many of these collections are now kept safe in private collections and museums. Due to the law of 1981, all wild birds eggs are now protected and must not be taken from the nests, so if you do come across any wild bird eggs, please don’t go moving them (for more info see the RSPB website).

There are many birds that produce speckled eggs, including some breeds of chickens, robins, blackbirds and many ground dwelling birds, such as quails.


It is commonly thought that they produce speckled eggs to help with camouflaging the eggs and concealing them from predators that would see them on the ground. Quails have this down to an art, by selecting an area to lay their eggs in that matches the speckled pattern on her eggs (summary of the study here). However, new ideas have arisen that suggest that the specks indicate where the shell is at its weakest and actually help to strengthen the shell, as seen in great tit eggs (for a summary of the study click here).

Cuckoos are possibly my favourite example though of why their eggs are speckled. If you’re not aware, cuckoos lay their eggs in another species’ nest so that the cuckoo offspring are raised by the host parents and not the real cuckoo parents. To ensure that the egg is not detected, cuckoos can imitate other bird eggs right down to the speckled patterning to conceal their egg’s identity within a host nest! More information on host species and cuckoo egg mimicry can be found here.

Whilst pretty to us, speckled eggs are an adaptation to the environment and situation that the birds are in. Hopefully with the protective laws, they’ll be around for us to admir for years to come (and make tasty chocolate treats that look like them)!

From us all at Hannah’s Hens, we wish you a Happy Easter!

Easter Bunny Hamper

Easter Bunny Hamper

As Easter is just around the corner, I couldn’t stop myself from getting into the spirit of things. After the success of my egg-themed Birthday hamper, I was feeling inspired to keep going down the hamper line. Once I’d seen this little beauty whilst browsing on notonthehighstreet.com, I knew that this was going to make the perfect Easter basket.

rabbit tin
Cute rabbit and carrot tin perfect for an Easter treat hamper. Find it here at notonthehighstreet.com

As there are rabbits already on the tin, I decided that the Easter treats would be rabbit themed too. At this time of year there are plenty of rabbit chocolates, so I went with Malteser bunnies and little Lindt rabbits. But what to have as the main attraction?

After seeing the idea for painted mason jars on Pinterest, I gave it a go. It required clear mason jars, chalk paint and sticky back plastic that you could cut shapes out of. Using stencils, I cut out a rabbit shape (and a chicken, I couldn’t resist) from the sticky plastic and stuck it onto the glass.

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Using pale blue Americana Decor chalk paint, I fully painted the jars with two layers of paint, even over the sticker. Once dry I took off the sticker so that there was a clear window in the shape of a rabbit or chicken.

To add a little whimsy to the jars, I put on a pink polka-dot ribbon around the top.

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Mini eggs are always an Easter favourite, and there are now Golden eggs from Galaxy, so I mixed the two together and filled the jars with that. The pastel mini egg colours complemented the jars and the hamper, whilst the golden eggs matched with the jar lids and the Lindt bunnies.

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Once the jars were finished I added one to the tin hamper with the other chocolates and wrapped it up in clear plastic wrapping.

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I’m really happy with the way that the jars and the hamper turned out. This is now going to be an Easter present for someone now, sorry in advance for ruining the surprise but it’s too good not to share so that other people can have a go! Enjoy!

An Egg-cellent Birthday present!

An Egg-cellent Birthday present!

With hens will come eggs and whilst I’m not the biggest fan on eggs, I know someone who is looking forward to them. For his Birthday I got my boyfriend a brilliant way to make sure that the eggs get used. I made him a hamper with lots of different bits to cook the eggs with.

I got a ceramic egg holder so that the oldest eggs get used first (with a few cheeky creme eggs in there just for fun!). There were also some bucket shaped egg cups for holding soft boiled eggs. When it comes to cooking the eggs, there were some fun shaped moulds for fried eggs and hard boiled eggs (pictured below, both available from Amazon). I also added an egg slicer for the hard boiled eggs so that they can be added to salads and sandwiches.

Finally I added a few personal bits, just to make it egg-tra special. Wrapped up in a basket hamper, it looked very rustic and farmy!

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What started off as a jokey present actually turned into something practical because now we can have eggs lots of different ways. It’s a nice idea for anyone about to get chickens or is just a fan of eating eggs and is so easy to do!

Getting Ready for the New Arrivals!

Getting Ready for the New Arrivals!

If you didn’t already know, I’m getting chickens and I’m slightly really excited. It’s something that me and my other half have discussed for a while but now that the plans are in motion it finally feels real.

Before getting them, they’ll obviously need somewhere to move into. The garden is open at the moment but the plan is to build them an enclosure at the bottom of the garden. With the coop inside the enclousre, they’ll be able to come and go as they please but still be protected.

We got a second hand coop from a friend and took it back to the house. Once home, we painted it a nice blue so that we can see it from the house and reassembled it. I did a bit of research before to make sure that blue was a good colour for chickens. It seems that it’s all individual preference and their history that influences which colours upset them. Hopefully that won’t be a problem for the chickens we get.

We’re still constructing the enclosure so there’s more of that to come but it will basically be a plastic roof that will cover the coop and the space to the side of the coop spanning the width of the garden.

It’s going to be a little chicken haven and I am so excited to welcome them to our home. I’m not going to say I’m a chicken expert, in fact I’m a complete novice. That’s what this blog is for, to share all the knowledge I learn about chicken keeping should anyone else want to start. I’ll also be putting in a few bits about (maybe chicken related) crafts and DIYs, just as a little side. I hope you enjoy hearing about the chickens when we get them, I can’t wait for them to arrive and share their adventures with you!