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Archive for the ‘Miss Basket’ Category

Saturday evening saw the grand launch of Uncooped, an online exhibition curated by the National Museum of Animals in Society in Los Angeles.

As well as celebrating the beautiful creatures that are chickens, the exhibition highlights the plight of the millions of commercial hens across the world and features pictures and stories of people’s pet hens – showing just what wonderful characters chickens are!

We found out about it when my very talented artist friend, Lesley Ann Cooper, was approached by the museum’s curator for paintings and stories. She sent them some of her beautiful ex-batt portraits and then very kindly put them in touch with me for some stories.

Naturally one of two of my girls were very keen to ‘crack the American market’, most notably a certain Miss Effie Chicken. Graciously she let Miss Basket appear in her photograph and story and the two girls now think of themselves as international celebrities. No doubt we will soon have demands for a red carpet, champagne breakfasts and mealworm fountains…

California Dreamin'...

California Dreamin’…

All joking aside I am enormously proud of my girls for being chosen to appear in the exhibition and I am also enormously proud of the lovely Lesley, whose wonderful artwork makes quite a few appearances.

And poignantly a certain Miss Bunty Goodchicken also features in the exhibition. Her story was written as she was slowly losing her fight against the scars her caged life had left on her body. As we still mourn the loss of this most precious of hens, it is reassuring to know that her story is being told in another country; so that more people will read of her brave battle to enjoy a free range life and be inspired by the little hen who blessed our lives for two years.

Miss Bunty Goodchicken, BHAW

Miss Bunty Goodchicken, BHAW

Uncooped

To see Effie, Miss Basket and Bunty Goodchicken go to Get To Know, then Portrait Gallery. Bunty is on line 2 and California Girls Effie and Miss Basket are on line 13.

To see Lesley Anne’s artwork click on Advocacy , then Chicken Advocates and scroll down to Battery Hen Rehoming Organisations.

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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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