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Tuesday, 28 August 2012

I have really gone and done it now!

This is not the only 'butting of heads' I have witnessed today!  We went for our long awaited trip to 'Chicken World'.  Me and Euan call it that, it is really called 'The Domestic Fowl and Rare Breeds Trust' at Honeybourne.  It has changed hands since our last visit and was a very different but really enjoyable day out.
While these two Pygmy goats were butting heads, this one was calmly soaking up the love.
It was incredibly sweet natured and really soft.  When I win the Lottery I will definitely have some of these!
This piggy wig was adorable too and wagged his little tail when you chatted to him.  I will have some of these too!
I actually don't fancy one of these.  Llama's are big and can give you a nasty look!
Euan would like one of these if we win the Lottery and a track!  I think we would need one each.  They were great fun.  It was very quiet so I sneaked the opportunity to pedal around the track a few times 'Like a bat out of hell' racing my son!
          Talking of hell, I saw some 'La Fleche' chickens, otherwise known as 'Devils Head Chickens'. . . look at these:
Complete with horns.
We had a go at 'Den Building'.  Euan really thought carefully about this, selecting sticks for their 'best fit' qualities.
I think we could do more of this in our local woods, the dog could come and have fun too.
We Ooooed and aaaahhhed over the babies.  I think these are Quails.
Ducklings are adorable.  I worked up quite a thirst and an appetite so we stopped for lunch.
I love mismatched crockery.  Over lunch something weird happened.  I got nagged and had a moment of weakness.  One of our hens at home has stopped laying so I get two eggs a day from three hens.  It seemed logical to increase our numbers!  Euan begged and pleaded and promised to be the most committed chicken keeper the world has ever seen, so we chose our new addition.  You only live once eh?  I believe a bit of 'Crazy' is good for the soul.   I have read obsessively about chickens and know introducing a new one is not easy.  The new one is prone to bullying as chickens are flock animal with a fairly rigid pecking order.  My three have a very clear, yet harmonious pecking order.  I worried the new girl would be picked on.  Euan sang to her in the back of the car and told her what a lovely life she would have, for the journey home and by the time we got home he had decided her name was 'Lavender'.
Here is 'The Lovely Lavender'. . . or possibly the 'Not so Lovely lavender'!  She is a 'Speckledy Hybrid'.
 The man at the shop recommended I spray all the chickens with a solution of vinegar so they all smell the same and shut them in the coop and let them 'get on with it'.  My three girls 'Free range' from dawn until dusk.  Ok ok . . . vinegar sprayed. . . all over four hens.   My old girls don't bat an eyelid and even let me 'bath and blow dry' them.  I have had them since they were eggs!  They trust me implicitly and think I am 'Mom'.  Well how I have rocked their world!
Out came Lavender!  All hell let loose!  My three quickly forgot their pecking order and all got terrified.  Lavender is 20 weeks old.  She immediately kept the highest point in the coop and puffed herself up to twice her normal size and began pecking the other three in a really savage fashion.  They submitted, they bowed their heads low, she pecked um!  They lay down, she pecked um!  They tried fighting back she pecked and drew blood on the 'Top Ranking Chicken' Poppy.  My three begged me to be let out of the carnage!  I let them out.  I had four chickens 'honking' loudly for about 30 minutes!
             I have had to race to the 'Cornstores' for Violet anti-bacterial spray for Poppies wound.  She sat and let me clean her up with disinfectant.  Blood is a magnet for all chickens and they will continue to peck wounds, so you spray them violet.  I also bought 'Anti Pecking Spray' and have had to spray all four chickens again.  I sprayed myself liberally too by accident and had to go and shower and literally scrub the revolting stuff off.  The man in the Cornstores thought it was most unusual for the new one to take top of the pecking order. . .typical of me. . .  he even asked me if I had mistakenly got a cockerel.  Normally the new one is bullied and submissive.  All is calm at the moment.  Lavender has the coop and run all to herself, while the others have the garden.  Lord knows what is going to happen at bedtime!  I am going to set my alarm for sunrise and get out there early in the morning to sort the trouble.  Euan thinks it is all fantastically dramatic and entertaining.  He has filled his water gun and put it on top of the coop for me to spray Lavender if she is nasty and I will!  I am not sure how long she will be staying. . .

Edit:  My OH does not read my Blog. . .I hope. . .I wonder how long I can keep a 'Savage Chicken' a secret?  


  1. My dream farm would of course, include lots of dogs.....but also goats (pygmy), baby doll sheep, pygmy piggies, and alpacas. I think you need to have a talk with Lavendar and give her the option of choosing the stewpot or getting along with her sisters!

    1. 'Lavender' is in isolation today! She is just a poor, bewildered big baby, so has come out fighting. lol I set my alarm before sunrise. They all slept there is a start!

  2. Cute animals :) Well, most of the animals were cute! Those devil chickens were really rather creepy looking! I've never seen a nastier looking chicken. It sounds like Lavender is a rather nasty chicken herself. I'm sorry you're having such a rotten time with her! I hope your girls make friends soon. Keep us posted! It also makes me wonder why the one stopped laying eggs. Any clue?
    PS- What does OH mean?

    1. I was reading in the 'Chicken Museum Section' lots of superstitions about chickens. A cockerel used to always be buried in the foundations of a church to ward of the Devil. I am not allowed to keep cockerels, the Council do not permit it in this area. Shame really I got offered a 'free' on yesterday. Chickens are fascinating and in the absence of a cockerel it is common for one of the hens to step up and take the role. I think this explains the non laying and my recent noise issues as all of the hens appear really healthy. I am pretty sure there have been cases of chickens 'gender morphing'.

  3. The animals are adorable. The first photo is so appropriate. Good Luck with the OH.

    1. Lavender is in a pen on the lawn at the moment while my OH is snoring...he works shifts! I am hoping I can remove all traces of Lavender and the pen by the time he wakes up. There is much pen/coop swapping and confusion going on this morning! lol I can 'hide' her in the coop when the other girls have finished laying their morning egg! I just hope Euan can contain himself! xxx

  4. Oh my.. tsk tsk. Lavender is very pretty and will add a nice contrast to your flock.. I feel bad that I urged you to get a new one now that she's being naughty. We have a low man on the totem pole here - the Cuckoo Maran. She only has 2 tail feathers left on her rear end! Gracie and I had a good time today, we wished you were there with us. ((hugs)), Teresa :-)

    1. Teresa I am relieved you accept full responsibility. It is always good to have someone to blame! 'Nice contrast to my flock'! Tsk tsk! lol. I can recommend the 'Anti Peck Spray' it tastes revolting! Poor 'Cuckoo'. xxx

  5. OOh heck! I can see why my mate Dil builds a separate run alongside for newcomers. I hope it's all settled down a bit now.
    I always wanted a pygmy goat, never more so than since we lived here, where the huge garden is over run with brambles, docks, nettles and bindweed!

  6. Oh dear! The problem with new chickens ... ours were the other way round though! We had 3 rescue chickens and after a year or so they all stopped laying, so got 3 more, a cukoo maran, light sussex and a black rock. They were kept separately ... the laying ones and the 3 in their retirement home. 2 of the rescue chucks went to the great henhouse in the sky so we put Florence (the lowest in the pecking order) in with the new three. We were worried at first, but she is now Top Hen! I'm sure it will be ok once they all get used to it. When I got the new ones every time I opened the kitchen door the old 3 ran up to tell me about the usurpers!

    Good Cluck!! (sorry)


  7. Oh Lucy hope your new Lady calms down soon you can't be refereeing all the time, your OH might get suspicious if he keeps seeing you sneek off to the chicken coop dressed in your refs gear LOL! Absolutely agree about the 'if I won the lottery' I'd have a whole collection of cute animals, especially piggies, I love the piggies!

  8. Blimey......I hope all is quite on the poultry front soon! I think you should have got one of the piggies instead :) However....if your OH is a typical man it'll take him a while to notice the new addition.....

  9. oh Dear! oh dear! poor Lavender she's got in pecking first in case any of the others thought they could have a go at her....and the others sound like darlings who don't know what's hit them and probably wanted to mother her but haven't been given the chance from the very start......I wonder if Lavender came from an aggressive coop background and has had to fight to defend herself from chick??? Sounds like a lot of patience and TLC is required from Mum and there you have it Lucy a little expert advice from Dr Know-nowt-about chickens! :-)
    So whats next Lucy?
    hope you'll post a sequel please?

    keep well

    Amanda :-)

  10. I am still having that big smile on my face from reading this post but I do hope this turns out with 4 happy hens, one happy hen mom, one happy hen keeper and one happy OH... (and I hope the dog is happy, too of course)
    Waiting for your news.

  11. Cripes! Feisty chicken! Hope she settles. I guess you getting doused with the spray did mean you wouldn't get pecked! Looks like a lovely day out. If I ever win the lottery(not very likely as I rarely if ever remember to buy a ticket!) I will have a guinea pig and quail farm! Who knows why, I just like em both ^_^


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