Eric and Butters

Eric and Butters

These little guys have settled in really well and have received so much attention and socialisation that I’m hoping they’ll make fine therapy bunnies. Viktoria, who recently relocated her private practice (Lemon Tree Therapy) to Cabelo, has already used Eric in a couple of interventions and he has done really well.

Eric is the more traditional looking rabbit and Butters has the white patches on this head. They absolutely adore each other and it’s really cute to see them interact. If rabbits laid eggs, I think they would make the perfect pet!

Mr Nibbles in Lockdown

Mr Nibbles in Lockdown

So life has changed pretty dramatically over the past year, with the salon shut far more than it’s been open. Mr Nibbles stayed in the garden for some weeks, but he just wasn’t getting the company he deserved and eventually I bought him home with me. For 2 months he lived happily outside but then started to come inside for longer and longer until he started to get crosser and crosser about being returned to his hutch overnight. So he moved indoors permanently. And somewhere along the line became a dog.

I promise you, this is a very unusual sight for a prey animal; a bunny sleeping so soundly he doesn’t even realise he’s been approached and photographed. Otherwise, I imagine he would have taken the time to tidy up his hair.

Mystery of the shop flock

Mystery of the shop flock

Mrs Tweedy was recently lucky enough to acquire 9 of the (in her words!) smallest, sweetest chickens she has ever seen. Now that they are off heat, they have moved into the salon garden and are receiving much admiration.

The trouble is these little chickens have proved to be a bit of quandary. She originally thought they were Dutch bantams, but they have turned out not to be Dutch bantams at all, but rather an unusual Belgian breed of bantam chicken.

After much debate, the brilliant contributors on the American Backyard Chickens Forum finally identified them as the more glamourous sounding Barbu de Watermael chicken (variety quail: colour white with buff markings).

The flock featuring in One Chicken’s Blog at Cabelo in Limes Road, Tettenhall, Wolverhampton, WV6 8QZ

Mrs Tweedy is really chuffed about that and keeps banging on about how cute they, but if you look up the definition of ‘cute’ in the dictionary, you just get a picture of Mr Nibbles, not a barbu de watermael. Enough said.

Introducing Mr Nibbles

Introducing Mr Nibbles

We chickens have had our beaks put slightly out of joint by the little fluffy bundle of cuteness that is Mr Nibbles (not my words, you understand, but words I seem to hear a lot of these days). We couldn’t work out why he kept getting red and pink smudges on his head, then we realised that he was the daily recipient of lipsticky smooches. What’s he got that we haven’t, I’d like to know? He doesn’t even lay eggs!

The flock featuring in One Chicken’s Blog at Cabelo in Limes Road, Tettenhall, Wolverhampton, WV6 8QZ
Eggs - One Chicken’s Blog at Cabelo in Limes Road, Tettenhall, Wolverhampton, WV6 8QZ
A double yoke egg, One Chicken’s Blog at Cabelo in Limes Road, Tettenhall, Wolverhampton, WV6 8QZ

And why won’t he stop eating? What’s wrong with him? And he doesn’t even lay eggs! Yes ok, I know I already said that, but when you get affronted you can get a little repetitive. Cut me some slack, I’m new to this blogging lark.

 

 

Next time – the mystery of the shop flock

A new blogger is appointed

A new blogger is appointed

The front-runners.

After the sad demise of Mrs Feathers RIP, the interest in taking Paws and Claws forward was good at first, with three strong candidates. So I compiled an application form (why are you the best chicken for the job etc.) and I left a few in the coop. When I went back after a couple of days to collect them up, the top one had been very badly abused. Clearly chickens do not take the application process seriously.

So, I’m sitting there most displeased and decide to bang off a few photos, when this happens…

One Chicken’s Blog at Cabelo in Limes Road, Tettenhall, Wolverhampton, WV6 8QZ

It’s one of the young birds who bears an uncanny likeness to Mrs Feathers. 

Our new blogger is organically appointed! A photo bomber already walking in the steps of the illustrious Mrs Feathers RIP, the queen of photo bombing. I am going to rename her Little Feathers in homage.

Next time: new to Paws and Claws, Mr Nibbles rules the roost

Mr Nibbles featuring in One Chicken’s Blog at Cabelo in Limes Road, Tettenhall, Wolverhampton, WV6 8QZ
Eggs is eggs

Eggs is eggs

Every year growing up we would spend Easter with my godmother, who owned a flock of about 200 chickens. I can still remember two things from that time: the absolute joy of finding eggs in a nest and the wonderful smell of a mixture of scraps, bran and egg shells bubbling away on the Aga day and night, which we would dish out every evening before the chickens went to bed. As a grown up with my own small flock, I still experience that same joy every time I go into the roosting area and find newly laid eggs. Especially with the variety of chickens that I keep, which all lay different coloured eggs.
The flock featuring in One Chicken’s Blog at Cabelo in Limes Road, Tettenhall, Wolverhampton, WV6 8QZ
When you get an egg haul like this it’s really something to celebrate, especially if you crack open the occasional double yolker!
Eggs - One Chicken’s Blog at Cabelo in Limes Road, Tettenhall, Wolverhampton, WV6 8QZ
A double yoke egg, One Chicken’s Blog at Cabelo in Limes Road, Tettenhall, Wolverhampton, WV6 8QZ
This is a crested legbar. Not only are they a really interesting chicken to keep, but these are one variety that lays blue eggs.
One Chicken’s Blog at Cabelo in Limes Road, Tettenhall, Wolverhampton, WV6 8QZ
But the question is, do they taste different – the brown egg v the white egg v the blue egg v the conker brown egg? Well, we think that the rare coloured eggs taste better, but actually they don’t. And on a blind tasting you wouldn’t notice any difference at all. But it’s interesting to have a variety of chickens in your flock, and the different egg colours and sizes is just something fun. The smaller eggs are laid by my pekin bantam chickens. Bantams are half the size of a normal chicken and have sweet feathery feet. All my bantam chickens are now living in the salon garden. If you don’t like egg white, but enjoy a reasonably sized yolk, bantam chickens would be your go-to girls to keep.
Egg selection at One Chicken’s Blog at Cabelo in Limes Road, Tettenhall, Wolverhampton, WV6 8QZ
Quail eggs are a real delicacy and rated as a superfood. Those are the little splotchy eggs in the basket.  You shouldn’t really eat more than 4 of them in a day. If you’ve never had a quail egg before, they are much creamier and milder tasting than a hen egg. I like to hard boil them (although they are not the easiest things to peel) and place them on a salad like little white and yellow jewels. I also like them fried and served like an egg pizza.
Egg pizza in One Chicken’s Blog at Cabelo in Limes Road, Tettenhall, Wolverhampton, WV6 8QZ
Why do I keep chickens and quail? Because the eggs taste better, the shells are stronger, I know what’s in the eggs because I know what the chickens are eating,  and I know that the chickens have ample opportunity to free range and do all the things a chicken likes to do: in other words eggs is eggs is not a truism. Some eggs are much better because they are laid by happy, healthy hens. And although my quail can’t free range (quails can bong 6 foot in the air and sail over a fence if spooked), they  have a sheltered area in which to sleep and lots of space in their aviary to do all the things a quail likes to do.
If you are inspired to keep a few chickens in your backyard, I warn you that your hobby will soon turn into an obsession.
OCD in One Chicken’s Blog at Cabelo in Limes Road, Tettenhall, Wolverhampton, WV6 8QZ
Next time: a new blogger is appointed (eggs is eggs by Mrs Tweedy)