Archive for the ‘Eccentricities’ Category

With the sad loss of Miss Bunty Goodchicken in March, our flock is without a Goodchicken. My dear friend Fi, is keeping the Goodchicken name alive with her two new girls, Miss Isobel Goodchicken and Miss Valerie Goodchicken so Bunty’s spirit lives on but I felt the need to pass her Goodchicken mantel on to one of the girls in my sadly depleted flock.

Gary and I discussed it at length and two names were clear contenders. Greta and Miss Basket.

Miss Basket has befriended little friendless Effie and has nursed her into the happy, confident free range girl she is now. Unable to mix with other hens, Effie has to be kept separate and Miss Basket has forgone her chance of being in the big flock to stay with Effie. Often playing Melanie to Effie’s Scarlet, Miss Basket needs her own moment in the spotlight. But Miss Basket Goodchicken sounds wrong!

Greta Garbo is the sweetest girl. Sporting a big, bare, beautiful bottom due to a mass of scar tissue built up over her time at the farm, Greta is the kindest, gentlest girl. Never throwing a peck in anger and bottom of the flock she makes it her mission to clean everybody’s beaks, all the time! So happy in her new life, Greta’s joy is contagious.

So who to choose? Drum roll…

After more discussion we have decided that both girls deserve the title. Greta will now become Miss Greta Goodchicken and Miss Basket (who was originally called Eleanor) will be like the royals and have two titles: Miss Basket, also known as Miss Eleanor Goodchicken.

Miss Eleanor Goodchicken (Miss Basket)

Miss Eleanor Goodchicken (Miss Basket)

Miss Greta Goodchicken

Miss Greta Goodchicken

After this momentous decision I came up with the equally wonderful idea of expanding the Goodchicken Sisterhood to include other special hens all over the world.

If you have a hen that is worthy of the Goodchicken name, who is sweet and kind, who never throws a peck in anger and whose gentle spirit and soul are a shining example to her sisters, please send me her name and photo and I will add her to the Goodchicken Sisterhood


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Our phantom egg stealer nearly struck again yesterday!! Like a fool, I had forgotten a certain chicken’s penchant for the odd eggy, and left the bowl of freshly collected eggs on the ground whilst I checked the third and last coop.

A tap, tap, tap! alerted me to her presence and I hurriedly turned round to find a certain Miss Basket pecking away at one of the egg shells in her bid for yolky delights!

Butter wouldn't melt...

Butter wouldn’t melt…

Last year I had to put my detective skills to the test when I found someone was eating the eggs in the little coop. Admittedly I didn’t have to be Poirot – only two hens lived in that coop, Effie and Miss Basket. They did manage to foil me for quite a while though until one morning I managed to catch Miss Basket red-clawed, sitting in the coop and happily munchinq away on her newly laid egg.

Whilst my initial reaction was to try and stop her eating eggs, upon reflection I came to a decision. It was, after all, her egg so why should she not enjoy it? You may have noticed I spoil my girls a tad but I do agree with the idea that the chicken owns the egg she lays. Whilst it would have made a nice addition to my supper, I didn’t need it. Miss Basket however laid me a beautiful egg every day, despite her weighing almost nothing. I came to the conclusion that her need was greater than mine. My girls are pets, eggs are just a bonus after all.

My other laying girls (of which there are admittedly not that many that bother themselves with this laying malarky) quite happily leave their eggs after a short post-laying contemplate so we still had plenty of eggs. Well, usually.

There is an egg hierarchy in our house that goes: poorly chicken, any chicken that wants it, humans. This led to an egg drought at the end of last year when poorly Gina was having an egg a day and only Flavia was laying and that was every other day. I refuse to buy commercial eggs of any sort so had to sneak down to the animal care unit where they have rehomed some of my girls from the last rescue and…buy some! Oh the shame!!

So back to Miss Basket and yesterday’s egg ambush…

Did I let her finish off the spoils?

Of course I did!!

Gorgeous Miss Basket

Gorgeous Miss Basket

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Nine very excited little hens have just tucked themselves up in their coops, trying very hard to stay awake to see if Father Christmas comes!

Nobody wanted to go to bed tonight so to keep everybody happy we had a rousing rendition of Winter Wonderland (Sleigh bells ring, are you listening? Bwark!) before sitting very quietly and listening for sleigh bells. We remembered their sisters at the Rainbow Bridge and then we thought about all the little hens who will not be free girls this season and whose Christmas Day will consist of staring at the inside of a cage. And we decided we were all very lucky.

Now they are finally asleep I can put the finishing touches to their Christmas cakes and wrap up their presents.

As Christmas morning dawns they will have a special breakfast of scrambled egg followed by a day of love, cuddles and treats. And they will enjoy the one thing that is so precious to every little ex-battery hen – her freedom.

Seasons blessings to everyone and may the new year bring us all happiness and a kinder, more compassionate world for animals and humans alike.

With love from Effie, Miss Basket and all the Rosewarne hens xxxxx

With love from Effie, Miss Basket and all the Rosewarne hens xxxxx

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Today our darling Daisy Doos celebrates one whole year of free ranging!!

I first met Daisy Doos when I was helping on a rehoming day. I was blessed to be chosen by this scrawny, tiny featherless girl who kept sitting between my feet, making me trip over and generally following me around.

But I had promised Gary I wouldn’t bring any more hens home…

So naturally she came home with me that evening, along with an equally fragile soul who told me her name was Dolly. Both girls spent a few days in the greenhouse sleeping in a cat basket until we could sort out the sleeping situation as all the other coops were full.

Daisy and Dolly on rehoming

Gary despaired at my bringing home more precious babies but as he tucked them down that first night, Daisy Doos nestled down between his feet and went to sleep. Then he understood.

So a new coop – the palatial Henderlay – was commissioned and when the big girls moved in there, Daisy Doos and Dolly took up residence in one of the smaller coops. Very soon the D girls were also enjoying the luxury of Henderlay.

Daisy Doos celebrating in style!

It hasn’t been all plain sailing though. Daisy remained featherless for months and even today is still growing her tail feathers! She has also had eggy issues and is currently battling egg peritonitis, poor girl. She does however look even more beautiful than on the day she chose me!

But we must remember darling Doll who also suffered terribly with eggy issues and despite an implant relieving the situation temporarily, passed away very suddenly and tragically on our Black Weekend in March. We shall light an extra candle on Daisy’s cake for Dolly.

The party in full swing!!

And in other news…

Effie has been quite hormonal recently, after her implant. She was rather off colour for a while and started a moult. Poor baby has even lost all her tail feathers – although one very sweet Effie fan offered to send her some of her own chicken’s feathers in a hair clip so Effie could attach chicken tail feather extensions! She has however now stopped moulting and has got back both her appetite and her joie de vivre!!

A special mention to Pumpkin cat…two years old with the body of a bear and the brain of a kittin but the biggest, kindest heart a boy could have. He has become a surrogate mum/dad/uncle to Max and Maisie kittin, who both adore him. He washes them, he cuddles them, he sleeps with them, he plays with them, he lets them leap all over him and hang off his tail. When they are playing in the garden he sits and watches over them. My special boy xx

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Little Effie Chicken may not wear a Team GB vest, run very fast or flap very high, but she deserves a gold medal anyway. A very special gold medal for bravery.

After her Soft Egg Incident, poor Effie was blighted with more soft eggs. Within two days, she had laid two normal-shelled eggs, and three…yes three…soft eggs. Two of those within ten minutes of each other. Poor baby was very ill and very unhappy. And it isn’t good for a girl to lay so many eggs, she must have been exhausted. The sight of her poor hunched, sad little body straining to get out yet another soft egg was tragic and enough to spur us into action.

Golden Girl Effie

So off to Uncle Jason the vet we went.

Now Effie, is a brave girl just for being alive, outside in the garden and being able to be a normal free ranging hen; she has overcome so much already. But when it comes to illness Effie doesn’t cope too well. She is a mummy’s girl when she is ill or in pain.

Being taken to the vets in a cat basket was traumatic enough but then having the VERY LARGE needle put in her to inject the implant was awful. Poor Effie screamed and then went into shock, panting, her eyes wide.

Luckily Gary had held her for this ‘major surgery’ and she immediately took agin him (she hadn’t forgotten about him likening her physique to a bowling ball) – glowering at him.

We whisked her home for some restorative cuddles, scrambled egg and rescue remedy but she insisted on staying inside her cat basket, her little body still shocked, her plans of revenge against Gary the Cruel still being formulated.

But after an hour, she emerged, bright as a button, hungry and ready to go outside to see Miss Basket and take her anger out on a few unsuspecting worms.

We watched her closely for a couple of days to make sure no more eggs were forthcoming but Effie is now officially egg free and feeling much better.

So the Gold Medal for Extreme Bravery goes to Miss Effie Chicken of Cornwall.

Yes Effie!! A gold medal for you xxxx

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Some days are special days! Today is one such day. A Henniversary, a birthday, two new babies and a competition winner!


Firstly Misses Clara and CocoChanel chickens are celebrating their one year Henniversary. When these two beautiful blonde angels came to live with me, along with their beautiful sister Miss Constance Chicken, they had spent two years in a cage. None of them could walk or even stand up. A few weeks of gentle care, of lifting them in and out of the coop each day, of arnica rubs and of soft grass to test out those tender legs resulted in these three beautiful girls finally finding their feet, literally. Only Clara, the most severe case, has the remains of a limp, and only then when she runs. But she looks like she is skipping!

Gorgeous Henniversary Girl Clara enjoying her celebration corn on the cob

Clara has always been my cuddling girl. Named after Clara, the crippled girl in Heidi, she loves nothing more than a cuddle and a song. We sing:

Raindrops on roses and feathers on chickens, bright copper kettles and warm woollen mittens.
Brown paper packages tied up with string, Clara is one of my favourite things.
Chickens in white feathers with blue satin sashes, snowflakes that fall on my nose and eyelashes.
Chickens that fly with the moon on their wings, Clara is one of my favourite things.

She endured a severe moult in January, potentially so serious for ex-batts with their already weakened bodies. But she got through it and is now resplendent in her glorious white plumage!

Miss CocoChanel Chicken was named because of her feathery markings – a ring of brown specks around her neck resembling pearls – glamorous just like her namesake! When her little legs had recovered she suddenly decided that escaping was the order of the day. She spent many days in the hedge separating our garden from our neighbours and I consequently spent many days climbing into the bramble-infested hedge calling her name and trying to retrieve her. It was at this point I briefly regretted her exotic name. Recently Coco has been battling a mystery illness and two weeks ago I doubted she would make this special day. But my darling Coco is a fighter and has been out there this evening pecking her celebratory corn on the cob with the other girls!

Darling CocoChanel tucking into her Henniversary corn on the cob

But amidst our celebrations we are remembering their sister Miss Constance Chicken who passed away in May, watching her sisters from the Rainbow Bridge xxx

Birthday Boy

Pumpkin kittin is two years old today!! Our big ball of fluff came to us in 2010 with his sister, Nutmeg. Both were semi-feral and terrified of humans. It took us weeks to gain their trust and even longer before we were allowed to stroke them. Last year, Nutmeg reverted to her roots and took up with the gang of feral cats on the farm. Floozie. Despite numerous attempts to lure her home, she lives quite happily on the farm. Cats after all choose their owners, she knows where we are if she needs us. Pumpkin, despite being broken hearted at first, decided the comforts of the sofa were too irresistible and has become quite the lap cat!! Happy 2nd birthday darling boy xx

Kittin in a basket!!


I go to a party, there are kittins there who need homes. What are the chances of me coming away without a kittin? Nil.
So…welcome to the family beautiful Maisie and Max kittins. Just the cutest, cuddliest pair of kittins I have ever seen. Currently trashing my furniture, stinking out my lounge and terrorising my big cats. But more importantly stealing our hearts. Thank goodness I have much of the summer off so I can enjoy them!

Max and Maisie our newest family members!!

Competition Winner!

Today was the big draw to win the beautiful Hedgecomber print of Ada and her Atkins diet! And I am pleased to announce the winner is….drum roll….

Amanda Heaney!

Congratulations Amanda, I will be contacting you soon for your address. Well done it is a beautiful print.

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We love our chickens here at Rosewarne. And if a garden full of gorgeous girls is not enough, our house is filling up with chickens too!

No, not more poorlie girls in the ICU (yet), these are not real chickens but chickenalia. Basically if it has a chicken on it, I want it!

My obsession started soon after the arrival of the three A girls (almost two years to the day) when Gary went to an artist’s fair in Falmouth and very kindly brought me a beautiful Barbara Karn print of three chickens. It looked just like my three angels and after having a frame custom made is now in pride of place in the hall. It is also my avatar on facebook, twitter and this blog! Unfortunately my three A girls did not make it to the luxury quarters of Henderlay (darling Audrey, the last of the three passed away the night before they moved in) so a copy of the print is on the Hen-der-lay sign; meaning all of my girls have lived there.

The Hen-der-lay sign featuring Misses Aurora, Agatha and Audrey Chicken

Next came the ‘Beware of the Ex-Batts’ plaque which is currently on the garden gate. I am also hankering after a ‘Free Range Ladies Live Here’ sign for the gate to their garden!

Then came the fleece and t-shirt with chickens on. Closely followed by the coasters, calendar, car sticker, apron, Cath Kitson tea towels, mug, ‘Keep Calm and Keep Chickens’ sign and numerous chickeny knick knacks. I have saved all the chicken-themed Christmas and birthday cards and covered my drab 1970s-nightmare beige kitchen cabinets in them.

Gary has even asked our lovely, talented friend Helen to make me a feather-inspired silver bracelet for Christmas

Most recently I have bought some lovely chicken cards made by my friend Christina’s very clever mum – they are just beautiful.

As I was sitting in the garden (between showers, thunderstorms and hurricanes) chatting to the girls about all my chickenalia, they were admiring Gregory (Peck) the cockerel on my mug of tea. Now Effie wants to launch her own range of Effinalia – Effie mugs, Effie pictures, Effie coasters etc and Bunty Goodchicken has decided the world needs a book of the story of her life…

Effie has plans for her own range of Effinalia!

But back in the sane world I now have a chance to spread the chicken love…my friend Janie at Hedgecombers writes a wonderful blog and also draws the most beautiful hen pictures and cards   She has very kindly asked if I would do a competition to give away one of her beautiful prints!

Ida and her Atkins Diet!

So for your chance to win this fabulous chicken print of Ida and her Atkins Diet please comment on this blog or on my facebook or twitter pages and I will draw a name at random on Friday 29th June. This special day is Clara and CocoChanel’s one year henniversary so a celebratory day all round!

Good luck, I just wish I could enter!!

And if you have five minutes, please watch this little Chicken Song by Finding Violet It is sad but not graphic, but have a tissue handy xx

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