October 3, 2014

We have chickens!

After a long break, we have welcomed back chickens to our backyard. Let me introduce you.

IMG_3917This is Cassandra, named by our Dear Boy for a character in the Ranger’s Apprentice books. She is a New Hampshire x Leghorn.

IMG_3919This is Emerald Star, named by our Dear Girl for a character in the Hetty Feather books . She has a lovely rusty red neck ruff.

IMG_3982This is Drusilla, named by My Man and I for the Goth styled vampire in the Buffy TV series.  We are clearly not as classy as our children. She is glossy black with iridescent green wing feathers.

Emerald Star and Drusilla are New Hamshire x Australorp. Australorps are an old Australian breed of chicken, great layers but they are as big as dogs.  Crossing them with the New Hamp makes them more of a backyard size.  We got our girls from Greg at Yummy Gardens in St Andrews.  He runs a lovely, humane place that is clean and very respectful to the chickens.

Our girls sleep in a little Swiss Family Robinson style coop nestled in the low boughs of the crab apple tree. Our Dear Boy and I built the coop over the space of a year from his timber stash and other bits around the yard.  The ramp is his invention and construction.

IMG_3994The coop is wired against foxes and the fenced run around the coop is set into the ground for extra protection against foxes.  One of our neighbours saw a fox on their balcony so I want to keep our girls safe.

Above the coop is one of the kids’ treehouse cubbies. Whilst his dad put in the platform, Our Dear Boy has built everything else and he has a style of construction all his own.

IMG_4003We have had our girls for just over a month now and we have just got our first eggs!  Such excitement!


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  1. Such delightful girls!! The whole family has done a great job in building them a great safe place to live. Do you follow “A Chicken Keeping Life”? Although I don’t have chickens I certainly enjoy reading about her chickens and goats and she has hen cams and goat cams too.

  2. First of all, congratulations on your farmlet 🙂 It was interesting to see your Aussie’s crossed with New Hampshire birds…being from NH this was interesting to me. NOW, Australorps as big as DOGS??
    Had to fact check that one 🙂 Saw the large males can be 8-10 kg
    but the 10 kg seems on the outside range………picky picky I know.
    Your birds are beautiful and I DO hope they all get along with each other…speaking of picky!
    And the construction crew(s) get an A+ for style and safety (of chickens anyway) 🙂

  3. It’s wonderful to meet your lovely ladies!!! Their different coloured feathers are so beautiful. I bet their happy in their fabulous coop and one that keeps them safe from the pesky foxes. I’ve been told where there are chickens their are foxes. Congratulations on the first egg, a very omentous occasion. Did you rush to eat it or just keeping it for a while because it’s special?

  4. This is fantastic! I am blown away. I especially love the construction details. The whole family has done a great job. Envious here… enjoy!

  5. Three gorgeous girls you have there. I would so like to keep chooks but we’ve no space for them. Luckily I can get farm eggs locally.

    The idea of sitting in that tree cubby with a book listening to gentle clucking from below is very appealing. Would an adult fit?

  6. They are gorgeous! I have a black chicken with the iridescent feathers as well. So beautiful. She’s a horrible moulter though.

    Our coop is handmade too, it came with the house and over the years my husband has improved and extended it. It will never win prizes, but it keeps the rain off and the dog from stealing eggs!

    Have fun with your birds.

  7. lovely chooks! And just our style of chook house – your Dear Boy is a marvel with the wood and tools. Our chook house was built from hard rubbish – has been very sturdy and unbreachable by the foxes until I didn’t close the door one terribly hot night during a heatwave – that was the end of two chooks thanks to Mr. Fox and we are now down to 1. She’s a cheerful soul and good layer. Hope your girls lay many delicious eggs and enjoy their new life!

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