The lovely Blossom.

The lovely Blossom two years on.

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Blossom was owned by my friend Carol . Blossom never really settled in with her when she got some new girls, not only was she bullying them but she was being bullied also.

She was very vocal and had a voice on her that never seemed to stop because she was so unhappy. One day down Carols I mentioned  I felt sorry for her and the next thing I had adopted a chicken. I went home to my husband and he rolled his eyes and said “as long as it’s the last ” ..Some words just fall on deaf ears !

They always say never add one chicken to a group so I was very wary of where this was going to go. I kept her separate for a few days and let her out a few minutes at a time to mix ..I was amazed as she just slotted in like she had always been there. She is a  star !

Blossom is now four.

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Two years on she is a great girl and such a character. She is not top chick but great friends with my shy girl Bluebell. They dust bath together and sleep together squashed together in one nest box ,I know people say they shouldn’t but they have a choice. I poo pick each morning so they have clean space to lay. Chelsea sleeps on a perch all on her own.

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Moulting and laying again.

Blossom when she is laying lays lovely blue eggs .They are a stunning colour and never cease to amaze me .This winter though she has stopped laying as she had a really bad moult and looked like a scarecrow. A very sad and sorry state.

She is now fully feathered and looking gorgeous and ready to lay. The last few days she has started to squat again and loves a cuddle. so I reckon in a few days the lovely blue eggs will be on the way again.

Bluebell and Chelsea.

See the #fireworks I created by blogging on #WordPressDotCom. My 2015 annual report.

See the fireworks Chicken Pickings created by blogging on WordPress.com. Check out their 2015 annual report.

Source: See the #fireworks I created by blogging on #WordPressDotCom. My 2015 annual report.

2015 in review

The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2015 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

A San Francisco cable car holds 60 people. This blog was viewed about 670 times in 2015. If it were a cable car, it would take about 11 trips to carry that many people.

Click here to see the complete report.

The ups and downs.

It has been a sad year for me so it has been a while  since I have posted on here and really I should have done it a while ago but it is nearing the end of 2015 so time to make a new start. Some of you will have read about my girls before so forgive me for going over old times.

2016 will be a better year ..New girls ? I am not sure yet ,I’m still making up my mind . I have 3 girls who get on really well together ,do I upset the apple cart ?

Of my  6 lovely feathered girls I am now down to three…All for very different reasons .

Firstly there was Ruby who had only been with me a few months and she had a prolapse which the vet could not sort.

Ruby

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She was such a lovely girl and she was one of a pair who I brought with the lovely Chelsea.

Secondly was Bonny who was over 4 years old and had been unwell for a while. Nothing you could put your finger on but she was slow, pecking at her food and not being the greedy girl she used to be. I could have taken her to the vet but she did not seem in pain .I am a firm believer in letting them see their lives out with their friends.

Bonny

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One morning she slowly came out of the coup and hid under a bush where she felt safe. It was later that morning I found her lieing on her side. At the bottom of my garden is a wood so that is where I laid her.

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Last but not least is the beautiful Clover who was always my husband Ian and my favourite. She was the last of our old girls .She was 5 years + and she was a stunner . Always top chick  and how ever many chicken came and went she always stayed fast and was top. Sorting squabbles out and making sure they were all looked after.

Clover

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Rest in peace girls.

I have three girls now to love to and care for who are

Blossom

I thought Blossom was poorly earlier in the year but it was me panicking ..She was going through a moult ..She now has most of her beautiful feathers back and I am looking forward to her laying her lovely blue eggs again.

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Bluebell

My shy girl.. I have had her 3 years and she runs a mile when she sees me out side. She will stand by the other side of my patio doors and listen to me talking to her but as soon as I am the otherside she runs a mile .The other thing is she never makes a noise. She is beautiful and hangs about with the other 2 easily.

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Chelsea

Chelsea is the new girl on the block and is the friendliest chucken ever .She follows me everywhere, loves being picked up , loves a cuddle and chats away giving me all the gossip. Chelsea is the only one laying at the moment and lays beautiful eggs.

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Chelsea with her friend Ruby.

From six to four.

FROM SIX TO FOUR

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In January I got two new girls who I called Ruby and Chelsea they were only about 20 weeks old and had all their chicken lives ahead of them but sadly 6 weeks ago at the very young age of only about a year Ruby had a prolapse. After a lot of thought the lovely Ruby had an appointment at the vets and did not come home. That was so sad but I could not let her suffer and had not enough know how to deal with it my self.

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The lovely Ruby.

Earlier in the day she was perfect running around and doing chicken things and then laid an egg that was just not right. by mid afternoon I could tell she had a problem as she was all hunched up and sitting under a prickly bush for protection. Chickens are very good at hiding things that are wrong as they realise that if they are looking and feeling ill other chickens or preditars will get them.

BONNY.

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The never to be forgotten Bonny.

I only wrote about Bonny a few weeks ago saying that she was getting old and was poorly but that she was a fighter. She was improving I thought eating and drinking and although slow managed to get to the worms when dug up. Sadly it was not to be she was getting slower and moving less and one morning she was walking about on the patio and after hanging the washing out I went in then heard a terrific din all the girls were making such a racket that I rushed out and she was laid on the patio.

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There are various views on what to do with chickens that have gone and putting them in my green recycling bin double wrapped was not an option .This is what advised on many sites but not for me.

The idea of recycling is a good one and at the bottom of my garden is a wood so there she went buried under a pile of leaves to join all other nature.

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I am now down to four which is a nice round number . I have Clover who is now getting on for six years old and looking good but not likely to last years.

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Clover. Still laying two eggs a week.

Blossom who I adopted from my friend Carol, I think she is three.

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Blossom AKA Elvis.

Bluebell who is as shy now as when I got her two years ago and thinks I am the wicked witch. She is two and a half and lays blue eggs.

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Bluebell , I only have to breath and she hides.

Last but not least new girl on the block Chelsea who is now about a year and I have January. She is friendly , chatty, follows me everywhere and tells me all the gossip.

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Chelsea with the departed Ruby.

Bonny the surviver.

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I have had Bonny now for four years and she has always been second in command after Clover. She is a lovely girl and if there is a favourite she is one of mine. I got her along with another girl from a farm in West Wycombe and she has never let me down . Chatty, full of life , a great egg layer in her time and always one of the flock sitting on the old tyre or log with the other girls.

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Moving on three months and everything has changed. She is now slow , sleepy and on her own. She is not with the rest of the flock and many  a time she is stood in the middle of the patio with her eyes closed in a world of her own. I never could easily pick her up but now I can  scoop her up as easy as anything. I have  examined her as much as possible but there are no visible lumps or bumps. On the bright side she is eating and drinking and suddenly finds a spring in her step when  worms being dug.

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I have considered taking her to the vet a few times but unless she is in visible pain I am reluctant to do so as the trauma would be too much for me or her . I did take Ruby to the vet the other week and she had to be put to sleep with a very severe prolapse and was in pain. Bonny on the other hand I hope is just getting old . She is first to bed to find the best spot and is last out in the morning .Everyday I expect her not to come out but she always does and goes straight for the pellets.

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After being second in command she is now bottom chick. It does not take long for new girls especially to make the most of the situation and up their game and go up the pecking order. Chelsea in particular makes the most of this and makes sure sadly that Bonny stays below her . Nothing serious just chicken pecks  but something to keep an eye on . Everything time though that I think she is on her last legs she springs back but it is not long before her head is in her neck and she is asleep on the patio again .

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Wonder girl Clover.

Wonder girl Clover.

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I have had Clover for over  5 years and she is a trouper. She was my first chicken from Omlet and is like a Black Rock but they call them Miss Pepperpots. Clover has always laid huge eggs much bigger than any of my other girls and until a year ago laid regularly at least 4 days a week ..

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Last year Clover had a really bad moult and ended up with hardly any feathers at all .She was very poorly and it took ages for her to become beautiful again. After the moult except for a couple of soft eggs she never laid again .That did not bother me as she was part of the family and never caused me a moments bother. she  hs never been sick and has always tolerated me getting new girls .When new girls were being  sorted out she has never made a fuss but welcomed them all, sorting them out and keeping them in check.

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A few weeks ago Clover moulted again ,this time not to bad and has just got all her lovely new feathers back. Four days ago she went into the nest box and laid her first egg for a year. I was so chuffed and excited as I thought she had finished laying and ending her life as an old lady should. Imagine my surprise when 2 days later she laid another and again this morning…What a star.

The pecking order.

THE PECKING ORDER.

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It is a while since I wrote about the pecking order in my little flock but I have noticed lately that it has changed. I have had the latest girls now since January and they of course know their place .

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Chelsea is bottom chick but also a loner. She will wander about on her own chatting away to me and following me everywhere I go, pecking away from the others occasionally joined by her mate Ruby. At night when they are going to bed she is sometimes stopped from going in by old girl Clover .

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The girls hotel for the night.

Clover will stand in the doorway and when Chelsea tries to go in she is pecked on the top of her head. Chelsea will then wander around the back of the coup until she thinks Clover has gone in for the night.

Bluebell is another loner but is safe to being pecked as all the girls tolerate her and is no threat to them at all. Bluebell is quick if a bit podgy and would get away suddenly . I have never seen her being pecked by the others at all and she never pecks them, if their is a bowl of scraps about she joins in with no problem.

 

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Pecking together.

Bonny is another old girl who used to be second in command but has now slipped down the order of things. She is often poorly and many a time I have thought it was her last day but she bounces back . She spends a lot of time sitting on an old tyre under a hedge but still eats .drinks and poos.

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Old girl Bonny.

Her place has been taken over by Blossom who has jumped right up to below Clover .If anything happens to Clover (she is over  five) then Blossom will be top chick. I adopted her from my friend Carol over a year ago and she started out being bottom of course as she had joined the flock as a lone girl but she has gradually regained her confidence and jumped up the ranks.

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Blossom the rank jumper.

Blossom has more assertive over the last few weeks. Not bullying the others but just giving them the look when she feels they are threatening her place. She stays within the group nd loves being with the others .A great digger for worms and the most vocal of them all. She lays lovely blue eggs and stunning.

That leaves Ruby who I think is second from bottom which is probably a very good place to be as she is in a safe place and not a threat to anyone.

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Ruby .

CHICKENS BEING LIKE HUMANS OR IS IT THE OTHER WAY AROUND?

I have always thought that chickens are more like humans than we care to admit. When I used to work in a supermarket or office you would have a pecking order just like chickens ..employees jostling for status just like chickens.

There would be battles between them as they tried to climb the ladder to success .You always had the lower staff knowing their place and quite happy to stay at the bottom just for a quiet life ….Just like chickens.

 

My chickens favourite places.

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My chickens favourite places.All under an old tyre. All six can just about fit.

All my  chickens just like people have their favourite resting and hiding places. It never ceases to amaze me that they will have the same place to chill out for a long while and then suddenly everything changes.

Their favourite place is under a spiky bush sitting on a tyre. They obviously feel safe there. As the above photo shows six just about fit but every so often one girl has to sit on the side , not any one in particular so there is no favouritism there!

While most of the day they all wander around the garden old girl Bonny spends most of her time chilling out on the tyre. She is also moulting which sadly is not helping her old age. She will still come running though when treats are around (more like strolling really so she often misses out with the best bits)

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Old girl Bonny with Blossom

Two weeks ago I decided to take down part of the chicken run which is nearest the house and was not needed. The girls only used to go in there when it was raining and that was all , they had plenty more space , so it seemed a good  idea to make a small bit of extra garden for myself. The only time it was used was when new girls were introduced and kept separate but I’m sure I can find another spot.

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Since taking it down it has become thee new favourite place to sit in the afternoon sun dust bathing with all of them soaking up the late afternoon sun.

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I was hoping to redo this bit of the garden but once again they have taken over. I would much rather see these lovely girls happy than have plants. I did try an experiment and put a huge tub of lavender there and I got quite excited when it was not touched in a week , I spoke too soon as one morning Ruby had got  a taste for it and eaten all the lovely flowers. The  tub was removed and placed  on a high stool and has survived. The bay tree they never touch which is a relief.

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An update on my girls.

An update on my girls.

It has been a while since I posted on here but thought it was time I wrote an update.

THE LOVELY CLOVER

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 All the girls are doing fine except Clover and Bonny are now getting old and stopped laying . Clover is now over five and as lively and as stunning as ever .The feathers still as black and glossy as they ever were and she is still top chick.

She goes about her day in her own quiet way and always makes sure that the others are in bed before she retires for the night herself.

BONNY THE OTHER OLD GIRL

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Bonny is just over four years old and has been poorly on and off for the last few months. She spends a lot of time under a shrub in the garden sitting on a log but manages to eat and drink even if she is last at the treats. .Many a time I have thought she would not come out of the coup in the morning but she seems to bounce back . Bonny is also moulting again so I am hoping she will pick up when this is over. She used to be second in the pecking order but due to her ups and downs is now probably bottom.

BLOSSOM MY ADOPTED GIRL.

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I adopted Blossom from my friend Carol as she was being bullied by the rest of her flock as she just did not settle with her . Every one said ” not a good idea to add one to a flock as it is usually stressful.”

Blossom settled in really well. She has never looked back and is one of the flock . Never a problem and as her name implies she has blossomed. Being a Chalkhill Blue  she  lays blue eggs at least four times a week and is as good as gold .

THE VERY SHY BLUEBELL

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I was lucky to get a photo of Bluebell as she is the shyest chicken I have ever had. I have had her for two years and I have never stroked her let alone pick her up.If I ever had to it would be fun and games. She thinks I am the wicked witch about to put her in the pot I am sure. She mixes really well with the other girls and loves to dust bath. If I dig for worms the other girls all gather around but Bluebell hangs back and waits for me to depart and then will tuck in.

THE NEW GIRLS RUBY AND CHELSEA.

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I have had these two lovely girls since January and they are just lovely .

CHELSEA

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Chelsea in particular is the friendliest chicken I have ever had. She follows me around everywhere and chatters away. As soon as she hears my voice she squats and lets me pick her up. I can sit with her on my lap for ages and she just sits and purrs. She lays six eggs a week and is so content.

RUBY

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Ruby is the quite one. She stands alone but mixes well . When she does get vocal she has the funniest voice it is more like a strangled cry or a sore throat. She also lays six eggs a week and think she is probably bottom of the pecking order next to Bonny.