Tuesday, 27 July 2010

Herding Turkeys

I've been meaning to show you all photographs taken at The Village Show for ages now, finally got round to posting them over at Renaissance Life divided into several seperate posts so hopefully they won't take to long loading. Pop over and take a look at sheepdogs, vintage cars and lots of heavy horses.

Thursday, 15 July 2010

The Private Life of Chickens

"There are more of them on this planet than any other bird. 24 billion in fact.
They are the closest living relative to Tyrannosaurus Rex.
Yet we know little about the lives of chickens. Is there really a pecking order in the farmyard?
Are they truly bird brained or are they quite clever? What does all that clucking mean? Why do some birds change sex?
Farmer Jimmy Doherty wants to know and he spends a week on a Devon farm to discover just what goes on behind the hen house door."
How did I manage to miss this, by not looking in a TV guide that's how.
Oh well I'm thinking it will be repeated or there is always BBC i player.
You'll have to tell me if it's worth watching, please...

Tuesday, 6 July 2010

The plight of commercial free range hens

John from Going Gently was recently given some battery chickens to, I believe, fatten up as meat birds, he is calling them "Ghost Hens". Go over and take a look, then come back here and see what commercially reared free range hens look like at a year old when they are due to be culled.
These hens were purchased, by a friend of ours, from a free range farm for £2.00 each. The ones he didn't buy were packed in crates and sent for slaughter.

Not sure if these photographs show clearly enough but these hens are frightened of the open space and are huddling round their house. You can see they are in a dreadful state.
A few years ago we "rescued" some ex battery hens and even they weren't in such a bad state as these poor things.
If an individual kept chickens in their gardens and allowed them to get in this state I would imagine the RSPCA would take them away and probably even prosecute and yet this is acceptable for commercially kept chickens.

Most of us are willing to pay a premium for free range eggs believing that the birds have a better quality of life than caged birds, unfortunately it still isn't good enough and the public are being led up the garden path with images of beautiful hens happily clucking around a field.
If anything hi-lights the need to produce our own eggs (and meat if you are so inclined) by keeping a few chickens in the garden I think these hens do.
If anyone would like to use these photographs to hi-light the plight of free range hens then please feel free to do so.

Saturday, 26 June 2010

Midsummer Roundup

We're at Midsummer and what a glorious week it's been hasn't it?
Last night we were at Houghton Hall for a concert and we picniced on the lawn, the evening was just perfect.
What a wonderful setting this would be for a Vintage Party, and what a perfect place to sip homemade elderflower cordial or champagne.
Our Midsummer flower of choice this week was the wild honeysuckle it smells devine especially in the evening.
The roses are marvellous as well right now giving us the perfect excuse to blog a favourite poem, You love the roses - so do I.
And whilst we are on the subject of flowers we've found a delightfully pretty necklace for little girls called the Annabel Necklace of course we blogged about it at Renaissance Children's Notebook.
Not much blogging going on here at The Chicken Daily but rest assured that the girls are all fine and enjoying the sunny days, that photograph above is of them dust bathing, we'll catch up with them again soon....

Thursday, 10 June 2010

Just for fun

This is what a chicken looks like if you are a worm.
thought this mildly amusing, found on the Omelet website.

Tuesday, 18 May 2010

Chicken Ark

I like the idea of this movable ark and that ramp can be hauled up at night for safety.

Thursday, 13 May 2010

Interesting Chicken House

Bit of innovative recyclying here by Granary Poultry
a chicken house made from a plastic barrel.

Sunday, 2 May 2010

Announcing A Week of Flowers at Renaissance Little Green Book

This week we've decided to post a spring flower everyday on our other blog

maybe you'd like to pop over and take a look?

Today's post is Plum Blossom

Tuesday, 27 April 2010

Keeping Quail

John Gray asked for some more about the quail, so this is for you John:

Ours are the Japanese Coturnix quail and they were actually my Mother's Day present last year. They are housed in an old rabbit hutch, a v. large hutch not one of those small things that the rabbit can't turn aound in.

Quail will fly straight up if startled thus making it well nigh impossible to keep free range, for their own saftey. They like to scratch around the floor and don't need flying space.

They lay throughtout the Spring and summer, usually one egg a day each, sometimes two. I'm told that one can tell which quail layed which egg by the markings on the egg as they are always the same. They don't go broody and they won't sit on their eggs so if you want to hatch them you'll have to use an incubator or a bantam.

We sell our surplus eggs at the farm gate for £2.00 a dozen. We don't have that many so we'll never make a fortune but I guess they pay for themselves. We find that lots of people want the eggs for hatching, ours aren't fertile as we don't have a cock bird. It would appear that they are primarily hatched as food for raptors, in fact our birds were destined for owl food when we bought them. I understand that they are culled at six weeks.

They are endearing little characters and their call is quite charming however they really, really don't cope well with stress of any kind.

Stressful situations like overcrowding can lead to agression which if blood is drawn can end in canabalism. If you have a sick bird I'd always recommend seperating it before the others literally peck it to death.

We have a "sick bay" where three hens now live peacefully together, each one of them had to be removed from the main hutch for a variety of reasons and it seemed safer not to try and re-introduce them when they were fully recovered.

They are fed on chick crumb, layers pellets, seed, corn, scraps etc. They love a bit of greenery and I actually grow chard and spinach near their hutch just for them.

The hutch has flower pots turned on there sides for little resting places, leylandii branches for shelter and some old CDs/DVDs hung from the caging to give the quail something to peck at rather than each other.

They do need constant access to water which can lead to a bit of a problem as they will walk in the water.

The wet feet then pick up bits and before you know it you can end up with a quail with a ball of "soil" set like concrete on it's toe. This has to be carefully soaked and removed or the bird will end up losing a toe.

That's all I can think of for now, hope it helps.

Sunday, 18 April 2010

Weekly Roundup

For the first time we took part in Today's Flowers which is such a nice idea that we think we'll make it a regular post at Renaissance Little Green Notebook
Another first was the rather ludicrous photograph of one of our Silkie Bantams here at The Chicken Daily and talking of firsts our eldest son exhibited some of his photographs in a gallery for the first time. There is a photograph of his photographs on the website http://www.renaissanceshop.co.uk/ in the What we are doing section.

Whilst we are on the subject of photographs isn't the one above adorable?

Red squirrels aren't the only wildlife in need of a little help so we were pleased to be able to use the Renaissance Newsletter to help promote a WDCS Walk for Whales in nearby Hunstanton.

Over at Renaissance Vintage Notebook we seem to have spent quite a lot of time at the V & A looking at vintage inspired quilt fabrics and enthusing about the Grace Kelly exhibition.

We're always on the look out for beautiful ways to display vintage books, we are vintage book sellers afterall, and we found a rather lovely photograph whilst blog hopping which of course lead to the discovery of lots of new, to us, blogs

Maybe you'll find the time to visit them?

Wednesday, 14 April 2010

Silkie Photograph

Pom Pom left a comment on one of our weekly roundup posts over at Renaissance Vintage Notebook asking to see a photograph of our Silkies ,of course we are only too happy to oblige.

Looking back to the first Silkie post I do hope that the rather glamourous photograph of a Silkie didn't lead anyone astray, ours will never win a rosette at a chicken show, but, boy are they cute.

Rediculous but cute.

And John I'm working on the quail post.

Friday, 2 April 2010

Happy Easter (& a weekly roundup)

It's been a busy week getting ready for the Easter hols at Renaissance HQ

with little being uploaded to the website www.renaissanceshop.co.uk.

It didn't start well with the news of Elspeth Thompson's death, so sad.

But we've had a reminder of new life with our quail starting to lay again, very seasonal.

And Marmee the photograph of quail eggs is just for you.

We went all Eastery over at Renaissance Childrens Notebook with Easter Gift Bags,

Flowering Bulbs for Easter and How to Make an Easter Chick.

And all wistful over at Renaissance Vintage Notebook with a sort of if we had a real bricks & mortar shop we'd stock:

Flowers in vintage containers & Crochet Blankets, Bags & Cushions.

And now of course it's April ,we had to mark April Fool's Day with a little joke or two,

and Easter is upon us.

We'll be spending it together, the whole family is home this weekend, bliss.

Wishing you all a very happy Easter.

Thursday, 1 April 2010

Wednesday, 31 March 2010

Quail eggs

Our Quail have started laying again
just in time for Easter.

Sunday, 28 March 2010

Weekly Roundup

It's been a wet, wet week here at Renaissance HQ causing endless frustration with pruning and animals.

As for animals our little menagerie has increased by two Silkie bantams who are now settling in nicely with our tiny Seebright and Nankin bantams.

Of course the weather has given us plently of time to enjoy vintage film : The Innocents , look at books : The Flower Shop and wonder what to do with all those books we've read but know we'll never read again , maybe the answer is Green Metropolis. But I rather suspect they'll go to the charity shop as usual.

We've watched The Delicious Miss Dahl on TV and spent quite some time looking at the kitchen Sophie Dahl used. We even found a seller of vintage items whose wares would fit wonderfully into the kitchen: Jolie Trouvaille.

Talking of vintage we continue to add new items to the shop and there is now a rather nice selection of vintage prints there.

We've also continued to post over at Renaissance Childrens Notebook.

Hope you're all having a lovely weekend.

Thursday, 25 March 2010

More on the Silkies, Nankin & Seebright

They all drank from the same water bowl this morning.
I think they might now be friends.
The Silkies need names.
The Nankin & the Seebright already have names:
Nutmeg & Mace
So sweet

Monday, 22 March 2010

On Silkies, Nankin & Seebright

The Silkies are ignoring the Nankin and the Seebright, the Seebright is ignoring the Silkies and the Nankin is looking on wondering what on earth is happening.
How different these samller breeds are, if I'd introduced new chickens to our established flock there would have been much chasing, pecking and general nastiness.

Sunday, 21 March 2010


The Silkies turned up today in a pet carrier. Very fluffy, very sweet they each have a twisted toe so are of no use to their breeder. They have gone in with the Nankin and the Seebright who seemed somewhat bemused at these two fluffy giants with topknots!

Saturday, 20 March 2010

Silkie Bantams

I've been offered 2 silkie bantams, haven't seen them yet but I think I might have them. I've also been offered a Peking bantam cockerel....

He I have seen and I really hope someone else will take him on, he is so handsome.

Friday, 19 March 2010

Weekly Roundup

So this week we have had the sad demise of Hetty the ex battery hen, seen above in happier times risking life and limb with the cat. (Actually he wouldn't dare hurt the chickens, one twitch of his whisker and they would chase him off). Now of course we are contemplating additions to our little flock.
Inevitably after joining Lovefilm we've been watching films Kinky Boots and Mr Blanding Builds His Dream House.
Outside by the sea we've been walking on Cromer Pier and the joys of country living continue with pruning in the orchard. After a hard days work outside it's nice to come into a supper of something warm and filling like Pork & Bramley Apple Bake especially when you've grown the apples yourself.
This week in the books to read and keep section of Renaissance Newsletter we've looked at a book you're all bound to love, Home by Anita Kaushal in fact we bet some of you already have it on your book shelf.
We must have spent a long time browsing the internet this week because we've found several blogs new to us, all well worth a visit:
Browsing blogs has given us a date for the diary with Donna Flower's Open House Sale definetly one for lovers of all things vintage.
We've also been inspired by Alicia Paulson and Cherry Menlove to start posting over at Renaissance Children's Notebook for the first time since January.
It hasn't just been browsing on the internet we've also manage to load some new items to the Renaissance shop .
By the way we'd still love to hear your opnion on the Shovel Birdhouse
Wishing you all a lovely weekend.

Thursday, 18 March 2010

More Chickens

Having lost Hetty and last years hatchlings we've decided to get a couple of young hens to join our little flock. We went looking this morning and we think we've settled on a very beautiful Black Rock and a rather pretty little mixed breed. Decisions, decisions....

Monday, 15 March 2010


In 2006 we took on 4 ex battery hens, they were rehomed by
who did an excellent job in coordinating the rescue, rehoming etc.
The 4 hens were in a sorry state when they arrived but quicky adapted to their new lives.
Sadly some didn't enjoy their new found freedom for very long, we lost the first after only 6 months, the second after a year and the 3rd after 18 months. But Hetty who was always in charge went on to thrive for a good few years.
Sadly we found her dead in the hen house this morning, she hadn't shown any outward signs of failing so it was a bit of a shock.
We'll miss her.

Saturday, 13 March 2010

Weekly Roundup and Giveaway Result

The winner of our Georgette Heyer giveaway is Jeanne of Tales of a Cottage Garden we'll pop the book in the post to you Jeanne next week when we have your postal details.
Gladys and Annie sorry to disapoint but we do have other Georgette Heyer books to read so look out for another giveaway soon.
So what have we been doing, well apart from the usual horsey and orchardy things we've had to give the ferrets a bath which was fun if messy.
We've found some brilliant greetings cards with little gardens and we've joined Lovefilm we've even managed to add a couple of new items to the shop.
Oh and the chickens are laying....
Whatever you are doing this weekend - enjoy!

Friday, 5 March 2010

Weekly Roundup and Giveaway announcement

So this week we have successfully rehomed (fingers crossed) our juvenile cockerel and been rather amused by a report from the Sun about chickens killing a fox , you should read it for yourselves the puns are really groan worthy.

Since the beginning of March it has felt really Spring like and we've turned our thoughts to window boxes, and displaying Spring bulbs indoors in vintage china pieces. We've also been looking at a tutorial for making floral necklaces.

Whilst in our dreams we've visited Pedlar's castle in reality we've spent some delightful time watching the boats on the North Norfolk coast.

Far more mundane but never the less worth a mention, we renewed our car tax online, it was very simple to do and personally I would highly recommend it.

There has even been time for some reading, I've been dipping into Gisele Scanlon's The Goddess Experience and I've finished the first of my Georgette Heyer dectective / murder mystery books. Which leads me nicely to the announcement of Renaissance's first giveaway.

Footsteps in the Dark by Georgette Heyer

I've finished reading it and would like to pass it on to someone else, so if you'd like to read it yourself please leave a comment over here at Renaissance Newsletter.

If there is more than one person interested in the book we'll do a little draw and announce the winner next Friday in our weekly roundup.

Wishing you all a lovely weekend and good luck in the giveaway.

Wednesday, 3 March 2010

Revenge of the Killer Chickens

Apparently 4 "plucky" chickens "hatched" a plan to take revenge on a fox who had been killing off their flock.
"It seems they kicked over the table and knocked the fox out, then pecked it to death." Read more: http://www.thesun.co.uk/sol/homepage/news/2874450/Fox-comes-last-in-pecking-order.html#ixzz0h8sqSjHh


Tuesday, 2 March 2010

Ruling the roost

So as regular readers will know all these little chicks made it to maturity but only one survived the severe winter and what did it turn out to be?

You've guessed it a cockerel!

And one that really likes the sound of his own voice.

Yesterday we moved him to the orchard, to a large chicken house with run and lots of hens.

Unfortunately the large chicken house and run is also temporary home to a trio of fancy fowl, I forget what type, and what was the first thing our youngster did?

Why he went and picked a fight with the other cockerel...

Fortunately no harm was done this time.

Wednesday, 24 February 2010


From my in box:

"Great news!
Yesterday the EU Council of Agriculture Ministers rejected Poland's attempt to delay the Europe-wide ban on barren battery cages. As a result, the ban is still due to come into force as planned in 2012.
Thank you to the 10,214 dedicated supporters who lobbied the UK government by sending emails, post cards and letters - once again, you have shown that we can get things done for farm animals when speaking with a united voice. This latest campaign also reiterates the need to be vigilant about the threats that remain, even when victories such as the forthcoming battery cage ban have been gained. Whatever the challenge, Chicken Out! and Compassion in World Farming will continue to take decisive action until the battery cage ban is fully implemented across Europe.
Thank you for your support; we share this victory with you.
Rosie, Siân, Hayley and CarolineOn behalf ofThe Chicken Out! TeamCompassion in World Farming"

Sunday, 21 February 2010

Urgent message re battery cage ban from The Chicken Out team

Help protect the 2012 battery cage ban!
The EU barren battery cage ban is under threat, and we need your help to lobby Defra to protect it.
Barren battery cages present serious animal welfare problems and prevent hens from carrying out their natural behaviours, such as dust-bathing and perching. Yet, last week, Poland proposed a delay to the EU ban on conventional battery cages to 2017. This would allow Member States to continue keeping hens in these cages for a further five years.

The EU Agricultural Council will address this proposal when they meet on 22 February and Jim Fitzpatrick MP, the Defra Minister responsible for animal welfare, will be present. We need him to vigorously oppose Poland’s suggestion and for the Council to reject it.
Help us oppose the Polish government’s proposal. The EU Agricultural Council meets on 22 February so, if you’ve not already done so, please click here today to urge Jim Fitzpatrick to protect the ban.

Thursday, 28 January 2010

Fox alert

Fingers crossed, we're lucky, our little flock lives in town and we don't (yet) have urban foxes here. Sadly though a friend has been less fortunate, he had 13 chickens killed last night.

Reynard went on a killing frenzy.

Lock up your chickens my friends, it has been a long hard winter and Foxy Loxy is hungry.

Wednesday, 13 January 2010

Catch up

Still no photograph of the Nankin Bantam, sorry, weather stopped play.
The snow, ice and freezing weather has proved fatal to some of our little flock,
very sadly the younger members just couldn't take it and we are left with only
one survivor out of the five. The older hens were fine including our resident
OAP ex battery.
Surprisingly the Seebright didn't seem at all concerned by the weather and is still
living happily with her Nankin friend.
The above photograph is from last year, I've actually just spent a few days sifting
through 2009's photographs and posted them over on the
Do pop over and take a look when you have a minute, if you do you'll find my Christmas present from my family - her name is Maddie.

Wishing you all a lovely 2010.