Blogs

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
@rivercottage
  • @emmacouttie Sounds dodgy! Name and shame? #meatpledge
  • Hey @DrinksTube our raspberries are just coming into season, can you knock us up a fruity number? #CocktailRequest link
  • RT @MarketingLiz: @rivercottage love your meat pledge. Seems ludicrous that a restaurant would consider anything else. Too few values in ou…
  • RT @heather_grace13: @guardian @rivercottage i'm vegetarian
  • In the light of @guardian's chicken investigation, now seems like a good time to take our #meatpledge RT NOW! link
  • RT @guardian: Find out why the drive for cheaper chicken is making more than 250,000 of us sick every year link
  • Last few tickets remaining for @WildernessHQ don't miss! Lovely @GillMeller will be there... link link
  • RT @johnmushroom: Two failed seasons but things look very promising @rivercottage this year. link
  • RT @draperjoe: Looking for a talented foodie sous chef to work with me @plymouthcanteen @rivercottage #getintouch #chef pls RT
  • RT @DrinksTube: Loads of you've asked for more time to create your #CocktailStar entries so we've extended the deadline by two weeks http:/…
  • RT @RCChefsSchool: Waiting for your big break? This is your chance - come and be the face of River Cottage link #chef #fo…
  • RT @WinCanteen: JOBS GALORE! Fancy working with us? Check out our vacancies or visit us at our open day on Thursday. More info: http://t.co…
  • Coming later today on #foodtube - a foraging treat with @johnmushroom and @RiverCottageAus's Paul West. Don't miss! link
  • RT @RCHQEvents: We've just released tickets for New Year's Eve. We'd hate you to miss out! link link
  • RT @Rethink_: Exciting meeting with @rivercottage team to discuss ways cooking can help improve confidence. Watch this space! link
  • RT @DrinksTube: All next week we want YOU to inspire us with a #CocktailRequest. Jamie's here with everything you need to know https://t.co…
  • We have our first entry! MT @kishanpatel96: This is my rising star 2014 entry please check it out and vote, thanks!! link
  • RT @RCHQEvents: Up close and personal with our Nettle. link
  • RT @RCChefsSchool: Happy Friday! Create a cooking video this weekend and you could be our next star chef. How about a BBQ vid? link
  • Hi @alt_J we read your recent interview in @guardian - if you did want to literally read aloud from our books, we'd love to send you some!
  • RT @axcanteen: Have a lazy morning, leave the cooking to us and we'll whip you up a hearty breakfast link
  • WATCH: Meet @samjlomas, our winner from last year's #RisingStar comp. Thinking of entering? link link
  • RT @SoilAssociation: 'City of Fremantle in #Australia bans plastic bags and imposes fines of up to $2,500' via @Guardian link
  • RT @plymouthcanteen: We have a fab selection of fresh, locally sourced deli items - if you're enjoying a stroll around @royalwilliamyd pop …
  • Are you creating avoidable waste with your lunchtime sarnies? RT @wwwfoecouk Homemade sandwiches for lunch? link
  • @thepamthejam @pipcourtney All details can be found here: link Should be a fantastic day!
  • RT @jamieoliver: SO EXCITING! @DrinksTube's #CocktailRequest Week starts on Monday. Watch this vid & then send them some inspiration! http:…
  • Bottle up your raspberries for a little #summer goodness in winter. Learn with @thepamthejam link link
  • @_Hugh_Chapman we just gave you a shout out :o) Hope that helps!
  • Based in Cambridge? Can you help? RT @_Hugh_Chapman I'm looking for a landshare-type opportunity for organic veg growing near Cambridge ...
  • RT @WinCanteen: We are at the #Winchester Guildhall NOW until 5pm today... come on down and find out about jobs at our new canteen! http://…
  • Coming up later on #foodtube our @thepamthejam shows how to bottle raspberries with a little sloe gin #delicious #preserving @JamiesFoodTube
  • @_Hugh_Chapman Hello. I'm afraid there is no further funding for this project. Should the situation change, we will let you know. Sorry!
  • RT @RCHQEvents: Great photo blog from @LibertyLndnGirl about her visit to our farm. Check it out here: link
  • Let’ see them! RT @madamchebly: @rivercottage : I'm trying to persuade my son in law to enter but he's way too modest about his talents
  • RT @CityandGuildsPR: Do you have what it takes to be the next Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall? Apply to be @rivercottage's #RisingStar 2014 - h…
  • We're delivering 1920 bottles of our fine EPA beer to @ocado tomorrow - exciting!
  • RT @RCHQEvents: Got your tickets yet for Hugh's Late Summer Party? We'll be launching a new book + hosting the Rising Star final: http://t.…
  • RT @samjlomas: River Cottage Rising Star 2014 is open again! link @CityandGuildsAC @Springboard_UK @Seachangeagency
  • RT @veeeenr: Foodtube fun & sneak peak into the life of an apprentice at amazing @rivercottage with my little duck @freyjaceleste http://t.…
  • RT @DavinaLovegreen: @rivercottage This is brilliant. I started as a YTS..Now I have my own company. Producing all meat from own farm,makin…
  • @GBPoultry yup!
  • RT @TheFlexitarian: Intermarché fights #foodwaste “Inglorious Fruits & Vegetables” ugly made beautiful link link
  • Could you impress the judges + be the face of Rising Star? There's only one way to find out... link link
  • RT @CampBestival: Feast Collective addition! @rivercottage head chef & @JamiesFoodTube presenter @GillMeller! link http:/…
  • RT @RCChefsSchool: Was it @samjlomas's great tshirt, two week dish or chargrilled pizza that won him the #RisingStar champion title? http:/…
  • Rising Star is back - could you be the face of our apprenticeship scheme, moving into it's second year? link
  • Three words: Apricot daiquiri cocktail. Learn how to make it here! https://t.co/y2yQzN4kyB @DrinksTube -you will love this! @JamiesFoodTube
  • RT @JamiesFoodTube: Want to be part of the @rivercottage family? Apply for their Young Chefs' Apprenticeship Scheme. link
  • Last year's winner says: MT @samjlomas: #risingstar if you love what @RCHQEvents is about then you've got to enter the competition!
Login or Sign-up

Login & Sign-up

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