Sunday 16 May 2010

Why I will never make it as a songwriter

With sincere apologies to Freddie Mercury...

The Farnsworth chickens
We are all feathery
Live in an Eglu
Sometimes we will get corn for tea

Open your eyes
Cluck in great surprise and seeeeee
Oh look it's Elphie
She's falling out that tree
Because she's meowing high, meowing low
Scratching at the sofa - 'NO'!
Vomming up a hairball
What a very naughty Elphieeeee
Bad Elphie...

Hello - a Sussex Star
The hybrid that I am
I lay eggs oh yes I can
Hard work!
It takes a while
To lay them nice and make the humans smile

Chickens! Oo-oo-oo-ooooo!
We like to run around
We eat them dandelions, so fresh and tasty
And they're good for our health, and they make our yolks all yellow

Oh dear! It's raining now
Don't want to be all soggy
The run floor is getting boggy
Maybe at the weekend
They'll move the run
And then we'll get a brand new place to poo...

Tabby cat! Boo-oo-oo-oooo!
That isn't Elphie, no,
We'll scare it off and make this garden Elphie's!

[guitar solo!]

We hear a little sound of footsteps on the lawn
It is light! It is light! It is time for getting up now!
What a night it has been, need to have a bit of grit!

I need water! I need dust bath!
I am flapping! I am preening!
I am hungry and I need...
Mash would be nice and it's rather yummy
And we'd like weeds and also some kitchen scraps
Maybe some grapes and a slug or two or three

Eglu blue, Eglu nice,
Elphie catching mice

(A live one!) 'Noooo! Don't bring it in the house!'
Let it go!
(A live one!) 'Noooo! Go outside with your mouse!'
Let it go!
(I like it!) 'Not wanted in the house!
'I do not like your mouse
'I do not like your mouse
'Now take it out the house and let it goooooo...'
Go! Go! Go! Go! Go! Go!

Cat in the garden, the back garden
Where we're eating all the weeds
We're gardening! And the compost heap it likes our poo-oo-oo, our poo-oo-oo
Our pooooooooooooooooooooo!

[guitar solo!]

We are digging for worms since we're clipped and can't fly
Levitation for us? No! No route to the sky-y-yyy!
Weeeeeee're grounded
That's okay though as long as
We can free range
We can free range before bedtime

Oooo-oooo-oooo! Broccoli! Broccoli!
We are happy ladies
You can see it's true
Happy happy chickens
Cosy in our royal blue eglu....

(Can we have some corn now?)


Wednesday 5 May 2010


Artemis: Something IMPORTANT is happening and I am telling everyone about it.
Athene: I agree.
Rachael: Please be quiet. Seriously.
At: I agree.
R. Stop. Trumpeting. *changes water*
Ar: But but but but!
At: What she said.
R: !!!!!
Ar: See. Told you. Tooooold yoooou...
At: She did...
R: It's an EGG! A tiny little EGG! Who laid this?
Ar: Well we're not telling you that.

[approx 1 hour later]

Ar: *is in Eglu*
R: I don't think they are, Athene. They thought you were near laying, but not Artemis...
Ar: Anything you can do I can do bettah...
At: I'm a clever chicken. I KNOW THINGS.
R: Believe me when I say you are not a clever chicken, my darling.
Ar: I can do anything better than yoooou...
At: I'll eat a dandelion then.
Ar: Yes I can, yes I can, yes I can
At: Should've called me Cassandra
Ar: Yes I can. I'm like Barawkbawkbawk Obama
At: I agree.
Ar: I shall now remove my feathery little bottom and show you that I TOO HAVE LAID AN EGG. And mine's bigger'n all.

Day six with us and the eggs have landed! They were teeny weeny - Athene's 36g (pale) and Artemis' 41g (brown) and let me tell you internets they made perfect poached eggs. I'm so proud of the girls!

Saturday 1 May 2010

Cluckingham Palace

I have chicken news! After much to-ing and fro-ing and umm-ing and ah-ing we concluded that the Eglu's advantages (no corners for red mite to hide in; easy to clean; it looks like a computer) outweighed its disadvantages (eyewatering price; it looks like a computer). Then we umm-ed and ahh-ed and to-ed and fro-ed over the Go or Classic (I still haven't worked out what makes one cheaper than the other) and prepared to part with a lot of cash.

Fortunately I happened last week across Omlet's marketplace - where they allow people to sell and buy pre-owned Eglus, which strikes me as a canny move - and thought I'd be bold and ask if anyone had a coop I might take off their hands. One journey to Luton later (a journey made about twice as far as it actually *is* by those pesky roads) and I returned in a blaze of glory with a used-for-four-months blue eglu.

I'm really pleased with my shiny new purchase! It's in great condition and it's not as 'wow look at me look at meeeee' as I'd feared. And the run is really tough. I should know: trying to bolt it to the coop itself was a bit of an experience so - fingers crossed - any foxy visitors will be put off. That's if they haven't had their arses handed to them by Elphie first, of course.

Yesterday Cluckingham Palace received its royalty - I drove through beautiful countryside (marred by chuffing great VOTE
DAVID CAMERON signs) to Cotswold Chickens where I chose a beautiful Sussex Star and a Speckled Star (both hybrids). They are much better behaved in the car than Elphie is, let me tell you.

They are Artemis (speckled; chatty and very much the boss) and Athene (sussex; more serene and slightly smaller than Artemis). Only about 16 weeks, so a couple more to go before eggs, although Jude reckoned Athene was nearly there. No egg this morning though.

Let's round off with a picture, and I'll report back on them forthwith (so far? They are AWESOME)...