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Introducing our chickens

Dec 18, 2018

Living on a former farm with a ready-made chicken coop, enjoying eggs for breakfast and baking cakes, it really made sense for us to get some chickens.

We made a trip to local poultry farm Moonridge near Exeter. They are passionate about poultry and experts in the field so we were in good hands.

We thought six chickens was a good number to start with and they would have enough space in the chicken coop. Unashamedly we chose the one’s we most liked the look of but decided to go for three pairs of different breeds. We have:

Chickens in coop

• Lohman Brown – A friendly ‘girl next door’ hen which is very popular, great with children and very placid. Brave and inquisitive as well!

• Devon Blue – They are a hybrid and lay blue/green eggs. They are friendly birds which have a gentle nature about them, although a small hybrid they do enjoy a run around!

• Light Sussex – Has that old fashioned look and striking markings, they are one of the most productive birds and are an alert but calm breed.

As for naming them we’re not sure how they all ended up starting with the letter ‘B’ but they are different enough in appearance to know who is who. There is Biscuit (has the colouring of a digestive!) and Bluebell, Bianca (she was the noisy one to start with) and Blippity, and Bella and Belle (she has golden markings similar to that of Princess Belle’s dress).

To start with we kept them within the confines of the pen around the coop to get them used to their new surroundings and also to introduce them to the sheep in the next field. We weren’t prepared for the amount of poo that they produce!

Belle chicken

Within two weeks they were completely free-range and are often seen venturing as far as Bickleigh Mill and taking a walk down the footpath. They seem happy enough and Biscuit and Bella don’t mind a cuddle. We are sorry to say that Blippity has disappeared, we like to think she has gone off on a big adventure, rather than naughty Mr Fox paying a visit.

As for production currently we get three eggs a day which is more than enough for us. We hope to get some more chickens next year to supply our guests so they can enjoy a breakfast of scrambled, poached, boiled or fried while dining on the veranda and taking in the beautiful Exe Valley views.