Friday, 20 December 2013

Jubilation and Desolation

I had two pieces of news today from some of my customer friends. The first was from Jennie, she has told me that they forgot to make sure that the run door was closed properly last night and the wind blew it open and unfortunately a fox has taken all her lovely girls. She is devastated and my heart goes out to her.

The first of many
Mr fox will be on the prowl for longer now that we have longer nights and he will be looking for easy pickings. Please make sure your chickens are all safe at night.

The other piece of news is from an excited Jean who has found her first egg in the nest box this morning and it was blue!

She and her husband are going to be fighting over it for breakfast tomorrow she says. I don't blame her, the first egg is always such an exciting event.

I am excited too because although I know Glamorous Gordon is the son of Violet the blue egg layer, I have had to wait 5 months to find out what sort of eggs his daughters will lay. Its a bit of a Forest Gump moment, "you never know what your gunna git". Yay Glamorous Gordon!

Wednesday, 11 December 2013

Coops To Die For

Twitter Facebook and other social media sites are great for building contacts and relationships. They also do a great job of introducing you to other people with similar interests. The same is true of this post. In the past I have looked at @JimVyseArks when I was looking to source a coop when I first got into chicken keeping. In the end I went for the cheapest I could find. Six months later I "upgraded" to a better coop which was easier to clean cos cleaning out in the winter, in the rain and in the dark after work, is less fun than wading up to your welly tops in mud. Which by the way we did more or less at the same time but thats another story!! If I had worried less about the cost and more about the function I would have chosen very differently and saved myself some money in the long run. Since joining Twitter under the mysterious name of @hedgerowhens I have been found myself enjoying listening to, and talking to other chicken enthusiasts and among them is Jim from Jim Vyse Arks. He even called his blog "Chicken Chat" which is what mine was originally called in my homage to the great Indian delicious dish of the same name. Who needs an excuse to think of curry - I certainly don't. My tastebuds are tingling with the thought of it. Anyway I am digressing. As he very kindly did his bit to publicise our chicken keeping courses, I am returning the favour by incorporating some pictures of his wonderfully thought out coops. He designs and makes them himself and his passion for chickens shows through. They are purposefully made so that they should be easy to clean and keep your chickens in the lap of luxury. Don't our girls deserve the best? He will paint them also in a range of beautiful colours and fit them with an automatic door too if you wish. If you have a particular design feature he can also add that into your wish list. All in all his coops, as you can see from the pictures below, not only look good, but they function well for yours and your chickens benefit too. A win win situation in anyone's book. Don't let the fact that they are made from wood put you off either. I have a wooden coop and I have never had any red mite. I am a convert to diatomaceous earth poofed into every crevice with my Bobby Duster. You come out of the coop looking like a horror film extra covered in powder, but mites don't stand a chance. A mask is definitely a very good idea.

Extended Grand Chalet
This is the Extended Grand Chalet for the ultimate in chicken comfort. Even your head chickens can get their own roost above their minions. This is a very useful feature on all the Jim Vyse Arks and it keeps the harmony at bedtime as all the ladies are well spaced out. The private nest boxes are well situated below perch level so even the laziest of hens wont be tempted to sleep there. As we all know a nest box which is slept in is also pooped in. Hens like to roost high so they are very unlikely to choose (and therefore dirty) the nesting area keeping your eggs clean.
Chicken Run

Super Swiss Chalet
Standard Swiss Chalet
Look how easy it is to clean!

The Runs and Chalet look good together.
As you see Jim has worked hard to produce a range of excellent des-res for your girls. You can reach Jim on

Friday, 6 December 2013

Social Media Wanderings

I was just trying to pin something on Pinterest which I have only just started with and I found this. I was trying to draw a chicken to sort out my logo but it ended up looking like a hedgehog and this will help me enormously and any other people who like me are artistically challenged. Its really good and shows you step by step how to do loads of different creatures. Check it out.

Book on how to draw animals simply!!!

Ah Bless Em

I thought I would just post a little video of my chicks. They are 7 days old in this clip and you can clearly see them exhibiting their scratching behaviour.  They have been off heat for 2 days and in an unheated room. Even though they are small they can still make a heck of a mess and it keep having to empty the bedding out of the feeder. I think I have cracked the bedding in the water issue with some great new drinkers I got from EBAY. They are fed from an old ice-cream tub as the header tank onto 10mm tubing. They are small but perfect. No drowning issues and I can place them higher and higher as they grow, but the size of the chicks now now means I am going to have to move them elsewhere in a day or so. If you want any of these cute little bundles of scratchiness you can contact us by email here or tweet me @hedgerowhens (you can do it through the widget on the right) or use the contact form on our main site