News from the coop: Entertainment!

The chickens were being very noisy girls yesterday, there were some birds flapping around  in the hedge next to them and they were responding with some very loud “Boc Boc Bocing!”. I usually find a nice treat distracts them and quietens them down so set of to the fridge in search of chicken yumminess!

I found a cabbage which needed using and remembered I had read somewhere about hanging a whole cabbage up for chickens to peck at, so I thought I would give it a go.

First I used an apple corer to make a hole through the top of the cabbage:

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Then I used a spare chain (which I used to hang the water from until they started sitting on it and tipping it!) and threaded it through the hole:

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Initially the girls ran off and hid as there appeared to be a big purple alien hovering in their run! Then I broke off a bit of the cabbage so they could taste it and Henrietta had a closer look to see what it was…..then ran off.

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I left them to it for a while and then when I returned there was an absolutely frenzy going on, chicken and cabbage flying about everywhere and half of the cabbage had been eaten!!

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I am now trying to thing of other things I can hang up for their entertainment! Any ideas?

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News from the coop: “Squaaaaaaawk”

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We are so lucky our neighbours seem to like the “sounds of the countryside” that our hens are providing them with. Scramble our Amber Link has taken to making the loudest ever squarky/combined with goose type honking noise each morning when they have all finished laying! Very handy as we know when to go and collect the eggs but I can imagine it being quite loud and annoying if we have popped out as she goes on and on and it can be heard in the house!!!

Any one else have hens who do this???

 

News from the coop: A tour of 57a!

Well here we have a very much over due post showing 57a our new coop!

I mentioned in a previous post that we got a bargain playhouse and decided to convert it into a coop….J and A took it quite well and helped us with getting it all put together.

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It all went very smoothly. The playhouse was easy to put together and all we needed to do then was add perches, wire mesh at the windows, cut a hole for their door and add a sliding door.

We had all of the additional materials and used an ikea shelf for the laying boxes! All in all it cost just under £100 for a 4ft x 4ft coop.

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I painted it Willow green and cream and couldn’t resist fairy lights around the roof! Henrietta was the first to inspect it and they all love it! So much more room than they had before, which will be much needed come winter when they spend more time in there.

I am really pleased with the signs I made, I think they are a nice finishing touch.

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Next job to sort out the small coop (57b) for the new bantams 🙂

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Photography: #lowdownground

I often take part in the instagram weekend hashtag projects as I enjoy the challenge. This weekend I have really enjoyed the #lowdownground one which meant turning my phone upside down and putting it on the ground mostly in the coop! I love the results:

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Scramble as curious as ever.

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Bottoms up!

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A lovely blue sky for a change 🙂

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Tutorial: How I made name signs…

I have lots of exciting photos of our new coop to share soon, but not until it is completely finished.

In the mean time I thought I would share with you the process of making the name signs. I am not neat enough to write free hand and wanted a different font for each hen.

I bought some blank plaques from Bluebell Woods ebay store, and painted them with two coats of the wood preservor which I used for the coop. I then used word and some fancy fonts to print off the hens names.

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I cut each name out into a rectangle and traced the letters on the reverse…I used thin paper, but if your paper was too thick you could hold it up to a window to trace.

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Next I taped the name onto the sign in exactly the place I wanted it and coloured over each letter pressing quite hard.

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I was left with a print of the name on the wood.

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Finally I went over the letters on the wood with a black paint marker (also from ebay).

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I am so pleased with the results! I have two more to make, plus a ‘Home Sweet Home’ sign to make. Then they can be hung up on the run.

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So much easier than attempting free hand!

I decided to finish off with a coat of spray varnish to protect the lettering. I am undecided whether or not to attach them individually to the run with wire, or to hang them from each other with either garden twine or chain. Final decision to be made tomorrow if it stops raining enough to go outside and see which looks best!

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Out in the garden: Weekend washout

I had big plans for the weekend, however due to rain not a lot got done.

On Saturday we took the boys to see the Olympic Torch relay and despite the rain we all enjoyed it, there was a lovely atmosphere.

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I loved the neon queen posters as well! Not sure if they had been put up for the torch or if they were left over from the jubilee?

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On Sunday afternoon we took the boys to their Nans and went to fetch some trees/bushes. We chose an apple tree, a plum tree and a loganberry bush. We came home and planted them behind the coop…I am regretting not buying a raspberry and blackcurrent bush as well now!

 

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They hens were very inwuisitive and looked like they couldn’t wait to get out and pinch all the berries!!!

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I am considering getting one of those omlet moveable fences to keep them away from the top part of the garden…does anyone have any experience with them? They are £99 so would like to hear some real life stories about pros and cons before buying!

Yesterday we had our first 4 egg day!! Clever girls 🙂

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I have ordered a few bits and pieces to decorate the coop and run so will update you all when they arrive.

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