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!

Wednesday 26 August 2009

RIP Violet Dorking

I WAS hoping to post nice stuff about my 4 new POL pullets today, but I have sadder news.

I went out last night to lock in the girls and I couldn't find Violet Dorking. I looked all over the hen paddock...and found her dead under the conifer where the girls have their dust baths.

On checking her over this morning, she seems to have died of a broken neck.

She was being bullied by EVERYONE Tuesday morning and I spent a fair bit of time trying to sort it all out and put her back inside Cluckingham Palace for safely, but she was too frightened and wouldn't let me. She went and hid in the branches of the conifer instead, which was a safe place for her to be so I left her to hide there.

A jet flew over late afternoon, I looked out of the window to check all the girls were out and OK and saw her then, but I was busy in the kitchen so didn't go out to see them. I am assuming that she was panicked at some point later on and ran for cover, hitting her neck in the process.

We hatched her out under Sweetiepie our Maran hen, just a year ago:-( and we have watched her grow up. She was a lovely, friendly hen, a rare breed Silver Dorking and with very funny little ways - like most Dorkings she would go broody at the drop of an egg, but she would also follow me around crooning at me and would jump up on my lap given half a chance.

Still, at least I know she died very quickly.

Violet, I shall miss you a lot... :-(

Violet just hatched out

With her sisters and Sweetiepie

Taking a ride on mum.

laying her first egg...


  1. What terrible news, and what a shock for you. It sounds like it was a tragic accident and nothing that you could have done. ((hugs))

  2. Aww what a shock for you. Violet looked like a lovely bird. x

  3. aww im sorry for ur loss she sounded like a lovely girl <3

  4. So sorry. Saw this news come up on my reader and felt I had to come over.

    Best wishes.


  5. Oh dear, How sad. It's been a tough summer for you. I hope your autumn goes better.

  6. awww that is sad :-(

    Rose XXXX

  7. What a shame. She looked like such a pretty bird and sounded very endearing. So sorry.

  8. I am so sorry CW, I know how much she meant to you. Violet was a lovely, lovely girl.
    Thinking of you!
    With Love, Jane xxx

  9. It Is so heartbreaking....
    I love My girls...They are all individual and have their own personality.
    Sorry to know your Little girl has gone.

  10. Hugs to all of you. Poor Violet - at least she won't suffer.

  11. What lovely pictures & wonderful memories you have of her! See - she isn't so far away is she? She'll always own a little piece of your heart. xx

  12. It's horrid when you lose a hen, isn't it? But it sounds like she had a good life with you, and lots of love and attention, which is A Very Good Thing Indeed. :)

  13. What terrible news. The poor little thing. I really feel for you. Am sending you lots of hugs. xx

  14. Oh, so sorry to hear this sad news Compostwoman .... and what a shock to find her like that. Big hugs to you for giving her such a great life.

    Willow xx

  15. So sorry,they are all such individual charachters aren't they.Who ever said chickens are boring and stupid didn't know them well.As a chook/hen/bird person you might like to check mine out!

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