I didn't deliberately set out to create a girls only chicken run. I thought cockerels looked glorious, strutting about in the sunshine. Chest puffed; proudly looking after his harem.
In fact, I thought if I did have a cockerel it would be the noise issue, the early morning crowing, that would convince me not to have one.
With drakes this wouldn't be an issue. Because their quacks are softer, though no less urgent, than the females. A constant wack-wack, wack-wack as they walk about rather than a QUAAAACKK, QUACK, QUACK, QUACK of the more rowdy females.
But with six years of keeping ducks and chickens you learn a few things.
Like, a cockerel doesn't just crow in the morning. It crows all day long.
But, it turns out, the noise a cockerel makes can be the least of your worries. They can cause no end of damage to your hens if they're feeling a little amorous.Read More
You weren't the month in which we began a new term. A whole year group older with fresh new books to write in, friends to reacquaint ourselves with, timetables and teachers to get used to.
You weren't the month in which I'd become another year older. The month of three coloured-sponge birthday cake, presents and trips to Alton Towers. With half-term and lie-ins a short while later.
And you weren't the month of advent calendar excitement, of sparkly lights and the subtle smell of pine trees.
You were the month where nothing happened. When Christmas seemed oh-so-frustratingly far away. Where the nights would begin earlier and where drizzle would slide down my bedroom window; both penning me inside and away from my friends.
But now, November is different. I don't mean you've changed. But I have.Read More
Walking out the back door with my wellies on I wondered how much exercise the ducks would make me do tonight. You see, every evening me and the ducks have this little 'exercise' routine. I try and get the ducks into their run. They, in turn, will run and flap about everywhere but into their run.
Hatched earlier this year to a chicken, Wincey, it used to be easy to get them in to bed at night - because they just followed their mum. Chickens are sensible. They know what to do just before dusk settles over the landscape. Before the beasties start prowling about, looking for prey.
But the ducks? They would run into the foxes mouth sooner than coming towards me.Read More