up with the chooks

For someone who claims to despise clichés, am I becoming one?

Boy quits job, turns freelancer, family moves to country, girl bakes bread, has chickens… what's next? pot-bellied pigs? (or maybe Wessex Saddlebacks?) er, not just yet. 

Whatever. I LOVE chooks. Love them. We always had them when we were growing up, my sister Naomi was in charge of them. This place already had a fantastic chook run, so with a bit of tinkering and a family adventure up to the same poultry provider my Dad used to use… here we are. 


These are layers, not meat chickens, so we decided to name them. We've named about half so far: Benedict, Custard, Scrambled, Noodle, Poached and this gorgeous lady above is Hollandaise. 

And Mum, that's not really your granddaughter eating the hay while sitting in a chook pen. Really it's not. 



Getting set up… 



Nesting boxes!



Ad hard at work. (With a ring-in, no he's not mine.) The baby in the straw, yep, she's mine. 



Henry off to check the egg count. Again. (The chooks moved in a mere two hours before.)



Henry moving at high speed with super exciting news. Lady with camera, son. Slow down! And did you just hurdle your baby sister?



Yep, that's exciting. Our very first egg.



Happy, happy cliché. With home grown eggs Benedict. 


16 Comments on “up with the chooks

February 28, 2011 at 10:00 pm

oh gods if I show this to my little guy he’ll be on the next train down.

Tandoori? Stir Fry? Nugget? actualy that’s what our chooks at the community garden are called I think-

February 28, 2011 at 10:12 pm

Fi, we don’t care about the cliches so long as your adventure is as entertaining as the BBC’s ‘The Good Life’. Are Fi and Ad the new Barbara and Tom??? (p.s. some chook name suggestions: Pavlova, Soufle, Lemon Curd, Omelette, Brioche)

February 28, 2011 at 10:27 pm

They’re cliches for a reason my dear; they work & keep working!

Our chicks are just babies, so no eggs here yet, but gee it’s nice to have them around. (& you should totally get a pot bellied pig. Soon.)

February 28, 2011 at 10:34 pm

We have an ambition to have chooks. Rock’n’roll 🙂

February 28, 2011 at 10:54 pm

ahh chickens. Im hanging out for the day when we can get us a few (must move out of the city!!).
I grew up with chickens too, they were my babies. I recall visiting the chook pen every morning before school (often in my dressing gown) for their morning cuddle. I was given them both the day after they hatched. Henny Penny and Big Red.
There must be something with ‘Naomi’s’ and chickens. My best friends daughter Naomi(5yrs) has chooks and she is known as the Chicken Whisperer. Apparently she says she can talk to the chickens, and they talk back. Its very cute!
Chook pen looks great by the way 😉

February 28, 2011 at 11:56 pm



Love you!

Alex Nolan
March 1, 2011 at 3:53 am

Lovely! Our chickens are laying prolifically again, which is a pleasant change from feeding them all over the winter and them not laying one. Most recently our chicken news is that our Big Red had to be put down (aka shot. With an air rifle. Sad day, but we think he had Mareks disease, and I don’t subscribe to the chicken-to-vet school of thought to be honest). Anyway, we still have 5 hens and one cockerel left and as hapens every spring, my neightbour, Maggie, and I go into chicken-production again! Roll on her broody bantams and our fertilised eggs…!

First day back to school after half term today and the kids are beyond excited to have G’ma back home (or could that be, beyond excited at the thought of presents?!). The snowdrops are dying, the daffodils are teetering on blooming and I am one very happy girl! 1st March tomorrow – happy St David’s Day one and all (for anybody slightly Welsh…!)


Jodie Petrov
March 1, 2011 at 7:51 am

Wonderful Fi! Andrew’s goal while he’s still on pat leave is to build our chicken house: forget caring for invalid wife and newborn! So far not as much progress as some of us would like, but an ever-increasing pile of odd looking cast-off building materials piling up in the garage and backyard. (Old ladders? What are you going to do with old ladders?!) Fingers crossed that we shall soon join you in the ranks of happy hen owners!

I should add that when looking at houses one of our high priorities was whether there was space for a chook yard. Heating – optional. Decent size rooms – whatever. Space for chickens – critical!

Enjoy your feathery friends!

xx J.

PS What sort have you got?

March 1, 2011 at 11:13 am

White leghorns. I love them. And old ladders are PERFECT. For making roosts, leaning against roosts, and leading to raised nesting boxes if necessary. Perfect. Hope you’re feeling OK, funny how invalid and invalid are the same word, you are one but absolutely not the other! *big hug*

March 1, 2011 at 2:20 pm

there is nothing quite as good as the orangey deep yellow yolk of eggs from chooks who feast on garden worms, kitchen scraps and the occasional trip into the herb garden. It’s better than a 3 course meal. Enjoy!

March 1, 2011 at 6:15 pm

Love it! When the cliche makes you happy go for it!!

March 1, 2011 at 7:24 pm

I’m right there with you! We just got some too… :).

I suggest you try home-made icecream again…

green ink
March 2, 2011 at 12:25 am

How lovely! I can’t wait to have some chickens one day. A tiny courtyard in the centre of London is perhaps not the best place for them at the moment 😉

Love the names you have given the chickens. When I was growing up my parents bought two cows which they raised and then made their way to the family table. They were called Rump and T-Bone. They also had chickens, and while most of the chickens were named after characters in Pie in the Sky (!), the rooster was called Zinger, after the KFC burger.


March 2, 2011 at 12:32 pm

Rump and T-Bone?!?! Anything at all to do with your vegetarianism?

green ink
March 2, 2011 at 11:08 pm

Quite possibly!! 🙂

March 4, 2011 at 4:55 am

That’s a great photo essay. I would love to have chickens, but I don’t think we can in the city. My wife and I have often talked about it, though since both of us are from cities, we don’t have any experience keeping them. I also think the eating hay picture is my favorite. Nice shot.


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