Hello and welcome to The Compost Bin. I'm Compostwoman and I live with my family in rural Herefordshire. We have nearly four acres of garden and woodland, all managed organically and to Permaculture principles, which we share with Chickens, Cats and assorted wildlife. We also grow a lot of our own food, run courses in all sorts of things and make a lot of compost!

I am a Master Composter and have spent more than a decade as a volunteer Community Compost adviser with Garden Organic and my local Council.
I'm a self employed Environmental Educator so I run workshops and events where I talk about compost, veg growing, chicken keeping, cooking, preserving and sustainable living. I also run crafts workshops and Forest School/outdoor play sessions in our wood.

We try to live a more self sufficient lifestyle here, as best we can, while still having a comfortable life and lots of fun.

To learn more about us click on the About Compostwoman tab and remember to click on the photos to make them full size!

Sunday 28 December 2008

Meet Goldie the amazing escapologist hen!

We have recently substantially increased the amount of space the chickens have to roam around in, when they are penned in the orchard.

We basically have nearly doubled the area they had previously, by adding another length of electric fence on the end of the original one.

We have also cleared out some branches from under the Juniper tree so the chickens have somewhere to hide and dust bathe.

All this is chicken paradise, but is Goldie the amazing Rhode Rock flying hen happy? Is she heck!

She KEEPS on flying over the wire, DESPITE having had her wing feathers clipped
(so in theory she shouldn't be able to fly at all any more...)

This then causes another problem; what to do when she needs to lay an egg? She has wanders around the entrance way back into the Orchard but won't go back in and also won't let me catch her and put her back ( and if she DOES, she straightaway "flies the coop" again...

She has laid in the shrubs somewhere in the garden at least twice this week that I know of, but its rather hard to find an egg in our garden!

So...we have come up with a solution. We have contrived a nest box OUTSIDE the netting, so if she goes "over the wire" before she has laid, she has somewhere to go.

As you can see, the other hens were VERY interested!

Finally, so was Goldie....lets hope she lays in there if the need arises!


  1. Your Goldie looks like a twin to our Missy - our fence-flying, nest-hiding hen. Though she's now too old to lay any more (I think), half my flock are half-breeds (she's a Brown Leghorn, we had an Amerucana rooster for years) she's brought in, year after year, as day-old chicks. I have to admit, she was a very good mother all those times we couldn't find her until after she'd hatched out a clutch.

  2. Hello Sadge!

    Goldie is a Rhode Rock, a Rhode Island Red x Black Rock ( which is a RIR x Plymouth Rock)

    She is very lean and agile, but I am amazed she can STILL fly over a 5 foot net with very clipped wings!

  3. If you have a rooster, you might end up with some surprise chicks. I could usually follow Missy after she'd gone missing from the coop, but as by then she'd already been setting for a week or two I'd let her be, and just turned the dog run into a brooding pen for her each year. Three weeks after she wasn't in the coop at night, she'd come strutting back with her clutch of babies and march them all right in where I had the chick starter and water dish waiting.

  4. Lucky hens! And no snow in sight...


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