Write new blog
Hen Corner

Breaking up and Breaking out…

by Hen Corner published on

Welcome back to Hen Corner!

We’ve realised that we haven’t been living up to our name recently and have been writing about bees, garden shows and the fruit and veg that we are growing here, so this post is all about the hens…!

By subscribing you’ll never miss a thing!

‘Free at last!’

This was the cry from both our children, as they have now broken up from school for the summer holidays, and also from all eight of our hens who found a gap in their fence and made a run across the lawn to have a go at scratching up the wood chips on the other side of the garden looking for juicy worms…

Here you can see Barnie, our Barnevelder, who was hatched as a chick last summerunder her surrogate mummy, Butternut. She is doing very well and, whilst is a regular escapee, lays beautiful speckled brown eggs most days and has shown no sign of going broody which is a real bonus! Whilst she does like a bit of freedom, she does respond well to me clapping behind her and she trots back to the Eglu Cube and promptly jumps up and back into the ‘henclosure’.

However, as I said, it was not just one hen that was making the most of their new found freedom…

Here you can see Ascot, our Silver Laced Wyandotte, Bunty, our Chocolate Bantam Orpington (one of the other chicks from last year) and Butternut our Buff Orpington. They seem to be scouting round looking for somewhere to hide… will the straw store be comfy for a snooze?

Business as usual

We are so pleased to have a mixture of pure breed and hybrid hens. The pure breed (see some in the pictures above) are so beautiful and those that go broody make great mums for hatching chicks from fertile eggs. The hybrids, on the other hand, are so reliable and we get eggs most days from them. There’s more to the broody cycle than just preparing to hatch chicks and we’ve tried various tricks to break the cycle but the main challenge to a cake lover like me is the significant drop in the number of eggs being laid each day. Fortunately, they’ve all finished their broody cycles (for now) and so the egg count is up again. I collected seven yesterday!

So now we are in the school holidays, there’s more opportunity to catch up on those garden jobs that keep being postponed… Are you planning anything for the next month or so? Leave a comment and tell us how you get on…

Book of the Blog Post: 

Keeping Chickens: The Essential Guide to Enjoying and Getting the Best from Chickens

This was the first chicken book I owned, it was given as a birthday gift the same year that the first girls arrived with their Omlet Eglu Classic and it has the most beautiful pictures to complement the wealth of information about keeping chickens, their day to day requirements, health & care and choosing breeds. This book is a wonderful addition to any coffee table whether you have hens yourself or not.

This book is available with many of our other favourites books from the Hen Corner Shop!

Other News:

  • We’ve started to hear a young cockerel crowing in the morning, but unfortunately don’t know which one it is yet…
  • The old queen bee in thenew yellow Beehaus is doing very well and has started laying eggs to build up the population of her new colony
  • We collected some honey last week that had a very distinct taste of next door’s lavender mint; she confirmed that she’s seen our bees around it – so we gave her a small jar!

Jobs for next week:

  • Dig over the compost and turn it from one bin to the other, giving it air to help with the aerobic breakdown and freeing up the old bin to start a new pile
  • Continue to harvest all the red berries and tomatoes before the birds see them
  • Try and find a honey extractor that we can borrow to harvest all that liquid gold!

Have a good week yourself…

Join us on the Journey!

0 replies

There are no comments available

To leave a response to the post you will need to be a registered user. Sign-up here or Login here
  • Hey @nationaltrust still looking for lovely frosty pics? :o)
  • RT @RiverCottageHQ: Wrap up warm, it's frosty out there! link
  • RT @plymouthcanteen: Feeling hungry this lunch time... Visit @plymouthcanteen for 3 small plates for only £10! link
  • RT @RiverCottageHQ: Tickets just released for our @sohsteve gig on 22 May, which kick starts our #RCFoodFair weekend. Grab a ticket now! ht…
  • Make the most of your oven's energy, cook meals in bulk where poss. Reheating uses less energy. Top tip via @wwwfoecouk
  • . @johnmushroom looks like someone needs a #selfie stick!
  • RT @RiverCottageHQ: We have discounted tickets available for this Sunday's dining experience. Gather your loved ones + come on down! https:…
  • RT @RiverCottageHQ: The only thing blue about our Monday is the sky. #BlueMonday link
  • RT @RiverCottageHQ: Want to meet @GillMeller and hear about his forthcoming book #pigsandpork? Don't miss this! htt…
  • RT @RiverCottageHQ: Gain work-experience in our @RCChefsSchool – free traineeships starting 26 Jan – travel expenses paid. link
  • RT @RiverCottageHQ: How much cake is too much cake? The fruits of our labour from today's #cake course in our #cookeryschool...…
  • RT @RiverCottageHQ: Hooray! #pastrysuccess #choux link
  • RT @RiverCottageHQ: Oh dear #pastryfail link
  • RT @RiverCottageHQ: Time for our third breakfast of the day. It's a hard life at our #cookeryschool... link
  • RT @RiverCottageHQ: Time for a second breakfast at the #cookeryschool... Drop scones with runny honey. link
  • @anneHuscroft1 so lovely to hear, thanks Anne! Any plans to come back to the farm soon?
  • RT @Hartsturkeys: Great stuff @ChefTomKerridge @BBCFoodandDrink @rivercottage. The best 30mins of TV this week. Looking forward to @Corriga
  • RT @jiholland111: @rivercottage @BBCFoodandDrink Great show. Excellent banter with @ChefTomKerridge :)
  • @linsalad @BBCFoodandDrink glad to hear it :o)
  • Hope you are all enjoying Hugh on @BBCFoodandDrink right now, BBC2!
  • @CharlotteClare1 sorry, blame Hugh!
  • And of course we couldn't let Hugh go without a birthday cake #50yearsofHugh #AskHugh link
  • And if you'd like to buy the book, check it out here! #lightandeasy #askHugh link
  • Thank you, its been great chatting! Have to dash, making a birthday cake for a fellow 50-year-old. Chocolate + hazelnut, pg 374! #askHugh
  • .@Eco_Gite It spreads like mad so not in the veg patch, better in a big pot, but it does take nearly a year to produce good sized roots.
  • . @Lou_la_may Default topping is a sprinkling of soft brown sugar but a trickle of runny honey is also great. #askHugh
  • .@trishaocf Could be your choice of flour or that your sd starter needs a feed up, take a good tblsp, feed it for a few days & start again.
  • . @bookslinger always lovely to hear that people are cooking from my books and enjoying the results! #askHugh
  • .@harrycornwall Cider is a good choice, I would choose a fairly dry one as the onions are quite sweet #AskHugh
  • . @_DjTC_ soon! Early Feb is good, provided you can keep them frost-free. A sunny window is good. #askHugh
  • .@IantheCW I'm all over the roots right now, big trays of them roasted and finished with a sprinkling of toasted seeds and spices #AskHugh
  • . @ACoSfChildren but it's so flat! Actually I do have a soft spot for Norfolk and it's been a while so who knows. #askHugh
  • .@rojob1 Yes, series 3 coming your way very soon and as ever Paul champions the sustainable approach to fish, veg and meat #AskHugh
  • . @missaniela really sorry but I'm not around for that one. I will be here for the Spring Food Fair in May... #askHugh
  • .@pupspigspoulets We said goodbye to our Oxford Sandy & Blacks before Christmas, they were fab! We like ringing the changes though. #AskHugh
  • . @bookslinger It's always a treat to be given other people's goodies. Of course I try them! #askHugh
  • .@GrowandEat That's a tough one to comment on without knowing the whole picture.
  • . @MyrtlesGarden there's a lovely potato gnocchi recipe in RC Veg and you could swap a GF flour in for the wheat flour. #askHugh
  • .@pickleshlee A good way to deliver vitamins and fibre but not to be drunk by the gallon as they are often quite high in sugar #AskHugh
  • . @AmberLofts523 that's better than a birthday suit! #askHugh
  • . @NellieRBean once it's all mixed up you should keep in the fridge and eat within two days #askHugh
  • .@acornwoodcraft I like dual purpose varieties eg Light Sussex Dumpies & Road Island Reds, but Hubbards are good free range modern meat bird
  • . @EmzJ_Smith It's a great campaign, we should be eating this lovely stuff. Let's hope supermarkets get the message @jamieoliver #askHugh
  • .@dikparkes I'll be back in the Autumn with a brand new series - something a bit different too! #AskHugh
  • . @beanbrackets That sounds like my dear Uncle Will - an outstanding gardener and all round top bloke. #askHugh
  • .@petermartindk Grow vertically to max returns. E.G. Climbing peas & beans, plus herbs you like best, thyme, sage and Rosemary are my favs.
  • . @Cooked_UK There are lots I hope. Check out the salad section for some zingy and elegant #lightandeasy starters. #askHugh
  • .@bantam1977 I would love to do that but the place would have to be just right, who knows it could happen one day.
  • . @AmberLofts523 yes, look cool and hang loose. That's what @martinharley will be doing. #askHugh
  • .@POverb Of course, a whole bulging chapter of them pgs 14-60 River Cottage Light & Easy
Login or Sign-up

Login & Sign-up

Forgotten your password? Retrieve it here
Or connect via Facebook
Connect with Facebook
Join River Cottage
Shopping basket: 0 items £0.00