🐾 Maybe the reason I love animals so much, is because the only time they have broken my heart is when theirs has stopped beating.

Sunday, 12 January 2014

A Sunday morning reflection

It's a beautiful summer's day, sun shining brightly and all my girls are contentedly scratching in the garden, silently being watched by Artemis, who has quite a time keeping them all together where he can see them. Kiep, for one, was obscured by the Asparagus Fern, much to his consternation.

Let me introduce you to my flock. Artemis is my Bantam Rooster, who takes his job of looking after the girls very seriously. Kiep, who grew up in my studio freshly out of the egg, is Artemis's lady of choice and she makes this quite clear to the rest of the flock, exercising her right as top-of-the-pecking-order hen by choosing the best perch next to Artemis at night, after which the rest of the girls are allowed to settle in and sort themselves out.

Next in line are Hettie, Missy, Snooky, Micky, Snookums and Chi-Chi, my baby. They all have a pecking order amongst themselves, with Hettie taking the lead and little Chi-Chi staying well out of everybody's way.


Snookums - who loves laying her eggs in my Studio

Chi-Chi - the youngest of the flock

I surveyed my garden. Oh my, no colour and lots of empty patches - 12 chickens are wreaking total havoc, and I don't know HOW they are capable of up-rooting and destroying large areas of Hen & Chicks - there's nothing left of the above plant, just a few roots... The Asparagus Fern is one of the few plants they seem to leave alone. And, of course, the bigger shrubs.

One thing my girls love best after chasing insects, is grazing, on the lawn. Which is now just starting to recover from winter and turning green, so the next best thing is anything tender growing in the garden.

 Luckily the hydrangeas also escape their attention and these are now displaying the last of their faded flowers, which I picked this morning, first for the vase and then, later, for drying.

I've been getting plenty of eggs despite the hot weather, 5 or 6 every day from 7 hens, and Kiep is broody and is walking around clucking disgustedly at the lack of eggs in her nest.

Not only is the garden depleted of all flowers, but also all insects! I don't know whether that is good or bad, all I know is I miss seeing praying mantids and ladybugs... Because of the wet conditions, the chooks seem to spend a lot of time on the patio, or maybe they're just patio-lovers or like to be close to me when I sit outside having a cup of coffee!
Artemis stepping out on the patio

And the muddy conditions, after some much needed rain, is taking it's toll on the white hens - all of them are more brown than white. Time to give the girls a bath! But not today, today is just for reflecting...



  1. Animals and tidy gardens just don't go together do they? My lawn has muddy grooves where Penny charges up and down along the same route every day.

    1. It certainly doesn't John. It's tough to choose between the two - every now and then I vote for the garden and keep the chickens in their run, it's quite large, fix up the garden, and then I feel sorry for them and let them out to enjoy free-ranging again. It's a constant dilemma!

  2. I loved meeting all the chooks. And I did not know that one could bathe a chicken!!! :)

    1. Thanks Kathryn! And they seem to like the bathing, go into a bit of a trance and a daze in the warm water. I don't think they enjoy the hairdryer as much, but they like being sparkling and clean again!



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