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Friday 29 August 2008

Life with Chickens.....

Well here I am, a bit later than promised! Sorry for the interruption in service but have had problems with my back and sitting at a computer doesn’t help – and of course most of my work entails sitting at a computer…….. Hence rationing time at ‘puter to work. Anyway beginning to feel better and hopefully this is just a minor “blip” and full recovery will be speedy! For those of you that don’t know me, I have a severe spinal curvature (scoliosis), so have had lifelong back problems, which sometimes escalate outside my comfort zone for a while. Hoping to be back within the comfort zone really soon!

In my rest periods I’ve been lying on the sofa listening to audio books – sometimes the best position is to lie with my legs over the *back* of the sofa, and sometimes the stories I listen to are so soporific that I doze off. I’m waiting for the rumours to spread around the island about the odd English woman at Sandside who hangs upside down and sleeps like a bat! (Well my neighbour has called me batty for years….).

Things are very quiet here at the moment. As well as the house being quieter with no Fitzi-cat, the coos from the field at the back of the house have been moved, and (vegetarians stop reading) I had Finlay III despatched this week. Well he had been quite a problem for some time as he was a very aggressive cockerel and not at all kind to the hens. After Clara died I was down to three hens, and I noticed one had a limp. Would he leave her alone – no – it just meant she couldn’t run from him, and in the end she was so crippled she couldn’t walk, and bless her she gave up and died. That left two hens – and one went off to be broody. Apparently this can be quite common – a hen will do it to get away from a busy cockerel! So that left one brown hen who wore a permanent startled expression, bless her.

In addition to this Finlay III was really horrid to poor Finlay II who was doing his best to stay out of the way, and was quite happy being a pet as long as he could get some food. But whenever Finlay III saw me feeding Finlay II he would rush for the attack. So…… Finlay III brought it upon himself is all I can say!!

Anyway I have now found the broody white hen (sitting on eggs), and the single brown hen has met up with Finlay II and they seem to be getting on OK. I think Finlay II will stay in retirement (he no longer crows, and does look a bit motheaten from living rough and being beaten up a bit) so hopefully he won’t “bother” the hens. However my next evil act is to remove the broody hen from her eggs – it’s a bit too late in the season for her to start hatching etc. So I’m hoping once it’s dusk tonight and the brown hen is in the henny hoose I can sneak in and get the white hen and shut her in the henny house too, remove her eggs, and after her initial squaking about that tomorrow she will go back to scratching around with the brown hen and Finlay II. However….. the best laid plans etc……..

I’m hoping to replenish my hen stock and am on the look out for about 4 more hens. Don’t mind what I get – I just love having hens scratching about!

So I’ll keep you posted on Life with Chickens…… (and no I did NOT eat Finlay III – I make it a policy never to eat anything I have become personally acquainted with…..!)


  1. Poor Finlay III - guess he brought it on himself, though. Did he grace the table of one of your neighbors?

  2. My gracious! Many changes since last I was here. Young roosters are testosterone-toxic, aren't they? I do hope you find some interesting personalities among your new "lady birds." I've often noticed that hens in small flocks often develop into individual characters.

    Hugs from Asia,
    ~ Sil in Corea

  3. Mary Z - I didn't like to ask what his fate was after the deed was done.... But the hens are much happier and their feathers are growing back now so I think it was the best decision - well for the hens!

  4. Greetings from Graemsay to Asia! Yes I've had some characters in the few years I've had hens. The two remaining hens have been fairly timid up to now, but I notice the brown hen has become bolder. The White hen still runs away though - perhaps she thinks I have the same fate in mind for her as Finlay III.... poor wee hen!