In case you've been wondering where I've been recently, here's a clue!
Yes, we have chickens! A week ago we collected 3 ex-commercial laying hens from the lovely people of British Hen Welfare Trust, a UK charity dedicated to rehoming battery & caged chickens.
They rescue thousands of chickens each year that are destined for the slaughterhouse, usually less than a year old, because they are no longer commercially viable for egg laying.
I firmly believe that a chicken has the right to scratch at the soil, peck at insects and feel the sun on her back. I also believe in taking responsibility for the food I eat (so I doubt I'll ever have my own cows, so I'll make do with milk & butter from local organically reared dairy cows).
This isn't a lecture, we all need to decide where our own personal line in the sand is when it comes to our impact on the environment.
But eggs aren't the only reason to keep chickens. They add life to the garden, poop to the compost heap (and so much of it!) and soft burbling chatter while you're sowing seeds, pulling weeds or otherwise bimbling about in the garden. They'll also take care of those troublesome slugs you've collected up from the vegetable beds (so you don't have to do anything unpleasant with salt or scissors) and weeds too. Due to some crackerarsed government thinking, you can't feed kitchen scraps to chickens if you're planning on selling your eggs. Our scraps get chopped up before being chucked out for their delectation, or cooked & mashed into their morning feed.
Being ex-battery hens, our girls are quite raggedy-looking, and still learning how to act like chickens (it has been a delight to watch their first attempts at scratching, dust bathing and having a good old stretch & run around in the mornings). But feathers will regrow, and I hope we'll be able to enjoy their company for many years, and give them a life worth living.
The brown envelopes offer is still open, so please do get in touch if you're interested. To all you lovely folks who have already been in touch, there are envelopes on their way to you, and good luck with this years growing!
Okay, I'm off to sow some potatoes (I say sow potatoes, but I'll probably just end up watching chickens sunbathing!)