Who & Why?

I think the best way to start in to tell you a little but about myself.

I’m 33 and married to a wonderful lady. She tells me I’m high maintenance. I disagree. Sometimes. We both have full time, 24/7 shift jobs. Although henkeepergal is currently enjoying her maternity leave.

We have 2 children, a 17 month old little boy and an 8 week old little girl. And 2 cats.

Personally I’ve wanted to keep chickens for a long. Circumstances didn’t allow it to happen.

However, we’ve recently moved home. We have a more than decent sized garden. Large enough to have a good sized run and not make too much of a dent in the space for the children to use. Fields and farms to the front and back and not too many neighbours.

So, it was on! I researched hens, runs and coops. I never knew there was such a choice. Hen wise I settled quite quickly on ex-battery hens. And decided 4 would be a good number. Now for their home. I found a good sized house with double run locally on the wonderful eBay for a decent price. They even delivered it. Unassembled. It was bought!

I had earmarked Monday (3rd December) as the day to start our henperience. Now, my DIY isn’t the best but I managed to get it built in around 30 minutes. On my own. With the help of a few bricks to balance an end of. God knows what I looked like. My excitement was growing. henkeeperboy could sense this and was getting excited himself. henkeepergal and henkeepergirl stayed inside in the warm. I did get a smile and an offer of a drink though.

Here’s the finished article…

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It seemed a good enough size for four hens to use. Certainly as a starter anyway. Oh yes, there are plans afoot.

So coop built the boy and I hoped into the car and headed for Happy Chicks.

Henkeeperboy didn’t show an ounce of fear or uncertainty. He toddled straight over to the loudest cock and gave him a gentle stroke.

After a look around a decision was made. There were many breeds, all as good as each other, but it wasn’t about breeding. The ex-batts were for me. They deserved a new life. A proper life, with freedom, with love, with us.

The odour in the car was, well, interesting. They were safely tucked into a couple of cat boxes and weren’t afraid to move around and have a poke through the gap. The smells. The noises. Even the boy wafted his nose!

So home. Out they came. It was short and sweet. I thought it best to not give them anymore stress than they’d gone through.

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They had a wander around, a few rocks and all huddled together in the back corner. Normal? Not normal? Quick…only Google has the answer. Phew. Normal.

They spent most of the day there. Briefly venturing out for a peck. I saw that as they were settling in, exploring their new home.

About 6pm it was dark. Very dark. I’d expected them to have gone to theirs perches. But they were still huddled. It was a military operation getting them in. I had to keep one in by blocking the door with my foot whilst contorting myself to reach another. And repeat. The last one saw it as a game and didn’t want to be ‘caught’.

In. Door shut. Welcome to your new home. Good night girls.

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