Muriel The Wild Chicken
About 2 years ago I looked out the kitchen window to see a chicken. We didn't keep chickens so I went outside to investigate. The chicken flew over our shed and I didn't see her again till the next day. I put some wild bird seed down and a bowl of water.
That was it, she became ours. We don't know where she came from. She roosted about 20 foot up one of our trees and has given us lots of entertainment especially with Henry, Mother in-laws large cat. Muriel is a welsummer bantam.
6 months ago I got ill and have been off sick from work. My life has totally changed, going from a busy chef to hardly ever leaving the house. Depression set in.
So, take a guess what happened next....
Firstly I tried incubating 24 eggs from ebay with no success. I then got 4 one day old Rhode island red/light Sussex chicks. What a delight, they gave me and my family so much fun. Sadly one died at 3 days, she was the smallest. So Delilah, Lola and Polly enjoyed sitting on my shoulder watching Eastenders and quickly became part of the family.
At 4 weeks they were huge and as the weather was warm they went in a large pen with a roof and slept in a cardboard box with straw. They eat chick crumb and drink lots of fresh water.
By then I had got the chicken keepers bug...
Along came Bunty and Bessy who are Light Sussex. There are beautiful, mostly white with a black collar and tail feathers, Bunty loves a cuddle but Bessie isn't too keen. They are now 22 weeks, no sign of any eggs yet. They have a large run and a hen house with 2 nest boxes and perching areas. They are fed on layers pellets in the morning. In the afternoon they have the run of our large garden. I also give them a grit/oyster shell mix and some corn in the afternoon.
That was not enough, I then decided that I liked the look of Bluebells. Luckily the place where I had got the other chickens had some 4 week old Bluebells. So 3 Bluebells and £24 later my chickens became a gang of 9.
The Bluebells and Delilah, Lola and Polly are now in a lovely coop with a run extension. There is still a bit of flapping of wings and squealing but they all sleep together fine.
So back to Muriel the wild chicken. She now eats layers pellets and loves to be locked in the hen house at night. Plus she is very cuddly after 2 years of running away from us.
And the depression?????
Well I am glad to say that I think keeping chickens have literally saved my life. I went from being so low to knowing that no matter how much pain I was in or how low I felt those chickens needed feeding.
Hubby even gets involved now. But I think I might be pushing my luck with getting any more...but who knows.