Friday, 21 November 2014

Chooks - at last!

As a city girl born and bred, I didn't know the first thing about chickens, except that Old Dai Cox, my dad's farmer neighbour in Cowbridge in the twenties and thirties, kept Sussex hens, and logically referred to a singleton as a Sussec. Dad, from whom I inherited my love of words, thought this was great fun. Gradually a desire grew in me, to have a Sussec too. Which is why we are now proprietors of a trio of cross-bred Orpingtons.
Shirley
The henhouse is a little palace, supplied by HRH Hill Ltd of Hounslow who wholesale chicken houses, and Amazon France, who retail poulaillers.


"The Monmouth", or possibly "The Devonshire" with Tim at the wheel
Of course, there had to be modifications to it - a solid base with wheels at one end and handles at the other, so that the whole thing could be moved from one place to another. Various reinforcements, particularly the replacement of most of the hinges with more solid ones, and the addition of catches at the front of the roof to stop it lifting in high wind. The stencil "hut 17" on the side is to come.

Releasing the wheels

Des. res. - the roosting area, with hay for home comfort.


 
The roof lifts off too. The metal handle is to close the internal door and shut them in.

Roger brought the hens over today and we settled them in the new house. He has six to part with and these were the easiest to catch on the day. While I went to get the camera they took themselves up the ramp into the roosting box where they couldn't be photographed. Problem: one, or possibly two, of them could be a cockerel. We don't want a cockerel, and no way do we want two. The neighbours have more than enough cockerels for us, thanks. The prime suspect is the biggest and boldest of the three. They didn't have names, but garden chickens should have names. I suggested the name "Shirley" for the possible male, after Shirley Crabtree, alias Big Daddy, a well known British wrestler. The others had to have a female-name-that-is-actually-male too. Welcome Alice (Cooper) and Marion (Morrison, aka John Wayne). We shall see.

Get off your horse and drink your milk!

9 comments:

Susan said...

Congratulations on the new arrivals. I will come over and introduce myself soon.

GaynorB said...

It's a magnificent home, especially with the customisation. I hope you will all be very happy. If we were closer we'd be popping in to visit, too!

Jean said...

A des res indeed!
I'm sure your chickens will be very happy in it!

Betty C. said...

A lot of people have chickens here in Avyeron, even in our "lotissement!" Good luck with the project. Love the names...

Tim said...

Big Daddy has gorn....
to some people in the middle of Descartes...
who obviously don't get on with the "voisins"...
and we now have Blanche...
I'll leave you to guess the colour!!

Vera said...

Our first lot of chickens were housed in a low tin hut which was right outside the caravan we were living in at the time. Actually, it was right by the bedroom end of the caravan, just underneath the window, which was right by Lester's head.

We bought an 'already made' flock, with several cockerels 'who didn't fight' the man said, but oh yes they did. They also crowed at odd times during the night. They lasted about a week, and then they were made deceased by a sleep starved Lester, fed up with their carrying ons!

Vera said...

Love your chicken tractor by the way!

Tim said...

Betty, our allotment in Leeds was theoretically able to have chickens....
provided the Council and our allotment management committee both agreed...
however, with the mindless vandalism that took place...
and the numerous houses that surrounded the site which had students who barbecued a lot in Summer...
let alone the semi-tame, almost resident foxes...
the poor chooks probably wouldn't have lasted a night!!

Tim said...

Vera...
the chickin' lickin' tractor isn't quite finished...
but now only requires the addition of wings, propeller and fairy lights** to be able to take off!!

Until then, I'll just have to wheel it around using the handles.

** I have got a set of battery operated fairy lights...
but need to make wings and propeller!!