Storm, storm go away!

Storm, storm go away!

Just when we thought it was safe to go outside and replace the roof panels from the last storm, in comes Storm Doris and whips off another one! My partner had thought that when he had replaced the panel lost from Storm Angus he had tightens down the hatches on the rest of the roof. Unfortunately we weren’t expecting such strong winds, and once again it ripped off one of the roof panels from the chicken enclosure. Instead of taking the whole panel clean off, this time it snapped at an angle so it will take a bit more time to take off and repair.

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Storm Doris damage

After the wind died down the next day, I thought it would be a nice treat for the chooks to have the run of the garden. They loved scratching through the wood chip and grass to find all the tasty bugs bought to the surface by the rain. This meant that Smudge dog had to stay in but she was desperate to be out and playing with her friends.

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Mummy, I want to go out and play!

Despite the storm, the weather has been improving and getting warmer. With the girls being over their moult as well, egg production has started back up. I tried using them up in last weeks recipe for Chocolate Mousse but I can’t stay on top of how many we’re getting in. Going to have to start selling them again!

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Eggs Galore!

Speaking of moulting, a certain Smudge dog has started shedding her winter fur. We popped into the pet shop today to grab her a brush to help with the loose fur (and where she got fussed over by everyone). She also got a bone or two to distract her whilst I brushed her as I wasn’t sure how she would react to brushing but she seemed to be pretty chilled about it. Good thing as it looks like she really needed it from the amount I got off of her.

It’s been another busy, blustery week. Hopefully that’s the last of the bad weather for the year and we can get on with being happy, content chickens 🙂

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Christmas Review

Christmas Review

After a hectic couple of months it’s great to finally get back to blogging. I have a few bits to report from over the Christmas period:

If you remember we lost a roof panel over after a huge windy storm. Over Christmas we finally had some time to replace it and get the enclosure watertight again. To hold some of the muddy floor together from the rain that had come through when the roof came off, we put some wood chip down on the floor. The girls have really enjoyed scratching around in the wood chip and not sinking into mud.

With it being Christmas, it was only fair that that the animals got a taste of the festive season. Smudge got her own advent calendar which she soon learnt meant getting an extra treat with breakfast. The chickens got some sprouts on a string which was hung up in their enclosure to give them a different way to eat their greens.

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For Christmas, my boyfriend and I, unbeknown to each other, bought each other chicken related gifts. We both got each other egg storage, I got him a wire chicken basket and he got me wooden box. The only awkward thing now is that the chooks have packed up production for the winter due to moulting and it being very cold.

With the cold comes the snow! The chickens have already seen some snow in their lifetime but for Smudge puppy this is the first time she has seen snow. We woke up on 13th Jan to a pathetic amount of snow, but snow on the ground nonetheless. She seemed to enjoy it but I think if we had more she would be able to make more of it. Today we had a lot of flurries and we got caught in them on our walk. She seemed to enjoy chasing and eating the flakes bless her!

Hopefully I’ll be able to be a bit more regular with my blog rather than catching up on two months worth of activities in one post! For now I shall leave you with a very merry Smudge puppy:

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Moulting on the Job

Moulting on the Job

Please excuse us whilst we moult. We’re a little scruffy….

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but we still like getting up to mischief…. like coming into the house…

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and having a good nap under the table…

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Smudge also likes a good nap and snuggle on the sofa.

As for me, I’ve been treated to a few chicken themed goodies!

Unfortunately since my last post though (which I’ll admit was a while ago), we have lost one of our girls. I’m sad to say that our dear Blossom, one of our little Warrens, has left us. She just went over night without warning and we still don’t know what caused it. She is missed so much, even Smudge had taken to hanging out up near the chicken enclosure after she died to comfort the other girls. This now brings our little flock to 7. RIP our little Blossom.

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Other than that, not much else to report. With a lot of fruits ripening we’re planning to do lots of interesting brewings soon that I’m hoping to document so keep an eye out for that entry next.

Thank you Followers!

Thank you Followers!

After a big stint to hand in my Masters project, I’m finally back to writing about the chickens! Yay, I’ve missed being able to be expressive and fun rather than scientific and factual.

So whilst I’ve been otherwise distracted, the chooks have been a bit quiet on the old social media. But that hasn’t stopped people from following them and the girls and myself can’t thank you all enough for the support!

Instagram has exploded, there are now 129 followers keeping up with the girls and their pictures on their account @hannahshens . Their live clucking has also attracted a lot of attention, with 70 followers on their Twitter account @HannahsHens . The slowest grower has been this blog with only 9 followers 😦 .

It’s so easy to follow the girls on any social media, there are links Twitter and Instagram on the side menu here or search for HannahsHens on the app!

And following the blog is super easy too: if you’re on WordPress there’s a button at the very top of the side menu that adds the blog to your Reader. If you’re not on WordPress you can still follow the blog and have an email sent to you whenever a new post is added. To do that, at the top of the side menu there’s a box to enter your email into and WordPress will send you an automatic email to confirm that you want to follow the blog, it’s that simple!

Again thanks to everyone already following. It means so much to all of us at Hannah’s Hens that you’ve taken the time to be part of our little gang and we hope that you are enjoying hearing about the girls!

Eggy madness

Eggy madness

This week I’ve been trying to use up the eggs that we’ve been getting from the girls. It seems that we’re getting about 4-5 eggs per day now so the fridge fills up faster than you think. So to get through them, for the first time in my life I’ve been cooking with eggs!

Over the next couple of weeks, I’ll be putting up the recipes on how to make these scrummy yummy eggy so you can make these too and whatever else I get to making with the eggs.

Here’s a sample of what I’ve been making:

Brownies

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Eggs Benedict with Hollandaise sauce

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Victoria Sponge

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Bacon Egg Cups

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But because I still had loads of eggs left I’ve started to sell them at £1 for 6 eggs! Already had some good feedback about them so I’m looking forward to more satisfied customers!

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Don’t forget to get all the up-to-date news on the hen’s Twitter and Instagram accounts. To follow just click the links in the right hand menu. Happy clucking!

The Ladies have Names!

The Ladies have Names!

The ladies have been with us for nearly two weeks now and we finally have names for them! Took us long enough but we wanted to make sure they would suit the girls. Here we go, the official introduction:

The Black Rocks Brian and Shaniqua

These girls were named by our friend. We have a girl with quite a boy looking face so she has been nick-named Brian, her full official name is Briany though. The other Black Rock has been named Shaniqua because she is fierce like the female WWE wrestler!

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Briany at the front and Shaniqua at the back, standing with their buddy Snowflake.
The Mottled Leghorns Ginger and Babs

A group of chickens wouldn’t be complete without a few named after the chickens in “Chicken Run”! I thought that the Mottled Leghorns deserved these prestigious names as they have the personalities for Ginger and Babs. The larger and bossier girl will obviously be Ginger. The other one is a little more clumsy and dippy so I thought that she was a perfect Babs.

The Warrens Blossom, Bubbles and Buttercup

We have three Warrens so we needed a famous trio to name them after. There was the an idea of naming them after the three good fairies from Sleeping Beauty, Flora, Fauna and Merryweather. However, this was just not good enough, so after a little more thinking I remembered one of my favourite shows from my childhood, the Powerpuff Girls and their names are chicken perfection! There is clearly leader and has darker tail feathers than the other girls so she is Blossom. There’s a girl who’s very airy-fairy and she’s a definite Bubbles. The last girl is very moody, she comes up to me clucking away and her feathers are quite darker than the other girls so she is Buttercup.

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The gorgeous Warrens, from front to back, Buttercup, Blossom and Bubbles
The Araucana Snowflake

This is the only name that just happened at of chance. As she’s the only white chicken she just landed with the name Snowflake. A bit funny as she seems to be the most aggressive to have a very girly name.

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Pure White Snowflake
Other chicken news this week include the girls coming into the house for a little explore. I’d let them out of the enclosure for a bit of free-ranging and left the back doors open as it was a nice day. Next thing I know, the babies had hopped in through the door and wondered through to the kitchen! Then the rest of the gang followed shortly behind and I had a living room full of hens!

The big step was last night where I thought I would try earning the girls trust a bit more by trying to get them to eat food that I’m holding. I took a scoop of mixed chicken feed in a box and held it out. To my surprise, after a week of trying with no success, the girls came up to me and started pecking straight out of the box with only a little bit of hesitation. I’m such a proud chicken mama!

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Another day, another treat!
More chicken news to come, don’t forget to stay up-to-date with the hens with live clucking on Twitter and Instagram. To follow them just click on the links in the menu at the top of the page. Happy Clucking!

The Chickens Have Landed

The Chickens Have Landed

After a long day yesterday, we now have chickens scratching around the enclosure!

We were up early to make sure we were at the farmers auction in plenty of time to pick our favourite ladies. Obviously attire for the day was wellies, jumpers and a flat-cap to get us into the farming feeling!

There were so many breeds and colours that at first we were spoilt for choice. After a while though a few started to stand out to us, there were four lots that we liked in particular: 3 Warrens that were only 18 week old, 2 Black Rock Hens, 2 Mottled Leghorns and a cream Araucana. 

Whilst at an auction it’s not good to get too attached to something before it’s yours, we were so lucky with these hens we’d liked the looks of because we actually got them. That’s right, we are now the proud owners of 8 lovely hens.

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The Warrens

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The Black Rocks

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One of the Mottled Leghorns

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The Cream Araucana
They’re not used to being in the garden yet so we left them in the enclosure with some food and water once we got them back to have some down time. Also they didn’t know that the coop was their bed so we’ll have to pop them in the coop for the first couple of nights, like we did last night, until they can sort themselves out.

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All the chucks getting ready for bed

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A quick cuddle before putting them to bed
Once we’ve learnt how to tell the ones of the same breed apart and got to know their personalities a bit more we’ll think about names. I’m thinking along the names of Chicken Run, “Ginger”, “Babs”, “Bunty”…. The rest will be named by my boyfriend and our house mate. I’m so happy now that the chickens are here and I can’t wait to record the adventures of our new chicken family and get some more photos!

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