by Cabelo | Jul 16, 2019 | Paws & Claws
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…
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
by Cabelo | Jul 10, 2019 | Paws & Claws
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.
When you get an egg haul like this it’s really something to celebrate, especially if you crack open the occasional double yolker!
This is a crested legbar. Not only are they a really interesting chicken to keep, but these are one variety that lays blue eggs.
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.
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.
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.
Next time: a new blogger is appointed (eggs is eggs by Mrs Tweedy)
by Cabelo | Jun 30, 2019 | Paws & Claws
So, Mrs Tweedy has taken all the little pekins up to the salon
to live. She says every beautiful garden needs a few chickens to make it perfect. And who am I to disagree? Anyhow, it’s clear from the photos she bought back with her today that these girls haven’t got a clue about horticulture. They’re marigolds you idiots!
Next time – RIP Mrs Feathers
by Cabelo | Feb 7, 2019 | Paws & Claws
Mr Pabs is the proverbial Marmite dog (griffin/yorkie/schnauzer mix mongrel). Whilst strangers are fending off the German Shepherd with a rolled up copy of the People’s Friend, the grinning furball likes to approach silently from the rear…. Read Mr Pabs’ story of his rescue from a Spanish Kill Shelter in a future blog.
From Spanish Gentleman of the Road to honey-coloured Cutie.
Next Time: A lesson in horticulture
by Cabelo | Dec 3, 2018 | Paws & Claws
Firstly, I should let you know I’ve decided to call Debbie Mrs Tweedy in homage to my favourite film Chicken Run. And yes, we really do knit our own underwear in case you were wondering. She doesn’t really like her new name but since she accidentally gave me full editorial rights, what’ya gonna do?
Anyway, Jurassic Park was once an overgrown wilderness at the top of the garden, where an area had been cleared to put up a large storage shed for junk which had built up in the garage. Mrs Tweedy told me the garage door broke soon after that, and the guy who came to fix it was quite taken aback when he got the door working to find an actual car in it. Apparently, this hardly ever happens.
Anyway, when Shelly, Layla and Eggs Benedict came along a little coop was erected. Then when me and the old man came along another coop was attached to that coop. And then as our numbers increased so more and more areas were fenced off and cleared, covered aviaries erected and paths put in. And then finally the storage shed was converted into a large roosting shed and another shed was built to house all their junk.
Mr Tweedy jokes that he has spent so much money on us over the years that our eggs are probably worth more than gold. But we lead happy stress-free lives, eat good food and are smug enough to know there is nothing finer to eat than one of our eggs.
Turning my back to the camera at this point was probably not my wisest decision but in my defence I didn’t realise that whilst I was busy searching for scratch, Private Nugget had made off with my knitted underwear.
Above you can see Shelly sitting on Mr Tweedy’s work gloves searching for a 1¾ inch crosshead screw to repair one of the coops. She does have the appropriate knitted safety wear (as shown) but claims she literally can’t see anything with her hard hat on.
Next Time: The dogs take centre stage.